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Analysis of Patriots’ tenders

03.04.10 at 1:59 pm ET

The Patriots placed tender offers on three restricted free agents Thursday afternoon ‘€” Logan Mankins, Stephen Gostkowski and Pierre Woods. (The tenders are the level of compensation a team would receive if the player is signed to an offer sheet and that deal wasn’t matched.)

Here’s a quick take on what today’s tenders mean:

Logan Mankins (first- and third-round tender ‘€” one-year, $3.268 million)
The move was to be expected, effectively taking the Pro Bowl offensive guard off the market. Mankins is one of the best young offensive linemen in the AFC ‘€” if not the entire league ‘€” but its almost inconceivable that a team would spend a first- and third-round pick for him. You would have to think that the Patriots and Mankins have had at least preliminary talks about a long-term deal for the California native, who will turn 28 next week. Bottom line is that New England should feel pretty confident that Mankins isn’t going anywhere.

Stephen Gostkowski (second-round tender ‘€” one-year, $1.75 million)
The kicker was tendered at a second-round rate, which, on the surface, should assure the fact that he will return to the Patriots. (Hard to imagine a franchise giving up a second-round pick for a kicker, even someone with Gostkowski’s resume.) However, Gostkowski has proven himself to be among the league’s elite at his position since he was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Memphis. New England should feel secure that they will likely be able to hold on to its kicker, but his departure isn’t completely out of the question given the occasionally erratic personnel decisions made on a daily basis throughout the league.

Pierre Woods (low tender ‘€” one-year, $1.176 million)
Woods was tendered at the lowest level, which only gives the Patriots the right of first refusal ‘€” essentially, New England gets the chance to match any offer the player accepts. (Because Woods entered the league as a rookie free agent, the Patriots would not get any compensation in return.) Woods was an important part of the Patriots’ special teams last season (he was tied for the team lead in special teams’ tackles), and added depth at the outside linebacker spot. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he decided to leave New England and end up playing for a former Belichick assistant (Kansas City or Denver).

Read More: Logan Mankins, Pierre Woods, Stephen Gostkowski,



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