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Report: Patriots and Logan Mankins agree on six-year extension

08.10.11 at 4:51 pm ET
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Logan Mankins (AP)

The Patriots and offensive lineman Logan Mankins have agreed to a six-year contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Pro Bowl offensive lineman had signed a one-year franchise tender earlier in training camp, but now figures to be with the Patriots long term, something New England owner Robert Kraft hinted at when he talked with reporters Wednesday afternoon. In speaking with the media, Kraft expressed optimism that the two sides, which had quarreled over the last year about a new deal for the offensive lineman, could reach a deal sooner rather than later.

“I hope that after locking up our core veterans and bringing in these seasons veterans as I call them, and probably you’ll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon hopefully to be a Patriot for life,” Kraft said.

“If I have a vote, it will get done,” Kraft added. “The other side’s got to want it too, but it’s our desire — it’s always been our desire — but… you can’t sign everyone you want, so you need to plan, and I think we did our planning knowing the kind of environment we were coming into, and we tried to position ourselves so we had our core veterans and we could continue to sign the people we want to sign. We very much — we think that Logan is among the best there is at his position. We drafted him and we want him. ”

Last June, Mankins talked bitterly about wanting to be traded, and sounded like a man who already had one foot out the door. He called the team “liars” and sat out the first half of the 2010 season because he was unhappy with his contract situation.

“Right now, this is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people. This is what I thought the foundation of the Patriots was built on. Apparently, I was wrong,” he told ESPN Boston last June. “Growing up, I was taught a man’s word is his bond. Obviously this isn’t the case with the Patriots.”

But it was clear this year that the relationship between the two sides had improved. Mankins and Kraft were spotted chatting amiably on the sidelines during practice earlier this month, and last Thursday, after signing the one-year franchise tender worth $10.1 million, the All-Pro sounded equally optimistic about the chances of getting a long-term deal done.

“There’s always a chance,” he said at the time when asked about the possibility of putting together a multi-year contract. “I’ve talked to the coaches, to ownership, everyone. We’re all on the same page. We’ll just see what happens. [I] have great memories here. I’ve had a lot of fun like everyone here. We’ll see what happens. I understand now more than ever that it’s a business.”

Business-wise, it appears to be a very good deal for both sides. While details of the contract have not been announced, the new deal will likely save the Patriots some space against the cap. New England will now be able to prorate some of the signing bonus money out over the course of the contract, which should mean that the cap hit the Patriots will take when it comes to Mankins will be less than the $10.1 million they would have had to deal with if the lineman was signed under the franchise tender.

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