Logan Mankins is ‘ecstatic’ about his new contract with the Patriots
|08.14.11 at 5:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Speaking for the first time since agreeing to a six-year contract extension worth an estimated $51 million, Patriots Pro Bowl offensive guard Logan Mankins said he was relieved the process is over and can now focus on playing his best for the Patriots.
“I don’t know. Stuff just falls into place sometimes,” Mankins said following Sunday’s practice.
Mankins and the team came to terms last Wednesday, just after owner Robert Kraft said Mankins would have a new contract if Kraft “had any say” in the matter. The contract, to carry him through the 2016 season, will pay him a guaranteed $30 million, inlcuding a $20 million signing bonus.
Is he happy with the money and terms?
“Yeah, I’m happy with it, I’m ecstatic,” Mankins beamed. “This doesn’t feel real yet, so I don’t know how to take it yet, but I’m very happy to be here. Looking forward, I’m hoping to have a good season and hopefully I can help this team win games for the next six years if I make it that long.”
All of this doesn’t happen without owner Robert Kraft stepping forward and making sure that one of the best offensive guards in football stays in Foxboro.
“It’s great. I’m really happy to be staying here for hopefully the rest of my career,” Mankins said. “I want to thank the Krafts and their family, coach [Bill] Belichick, and the guys upstairs. I’m glad this is done with; I am very happy.”
Mankins also took the opportunity Sunday to say how grateful he is to be playing the next six seasons in New England, including this campaign for long-time offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
“I think a lot of people probably take Dante for granted,” Mankins said. “He’s, in my opinion, the best O-line coach in the league. I’m glad I get to play for him a while longer. He works the dog out of us but we’re always in great shape during games so we really appreciate his work.”
Mankins maintained that he stayed as far apart from the negotiations until the deal was ready to be signed.
“I wasn’t involved,” he said. “I just practice and I got the call when it was done, and that was it. I’m happy about it.”
Did he have any idea the other day that this was happening?
“No, I had no idea that anything was happening,” Mankins insisted.
What will he do with his new-found fortune?
“I haven’t thought that far,” Mankins said. “I don’t even have time to go shopping right now.”
One thing Mankins has invested in is his alma mater. Fresno State, thanks to Mankins, is getting a new turf field for their football stadium.
“They were putting in field turf and I made a donation to my good friend out there. I wanted to help those guys out,” he said proudly of designation of “The Mankins Family” on one corner of the field.
“It’s down in the line [in the] corner, so that’s a good spot for it,” he added. “I just think they did that because I stepped up to the plate and helped them out. I was trying to show some appreciation for them.”
But most of all, no questions for the next six years about his contract.
“Yeah, that’s one of the things,” he said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. That’s what guys always hope [for] ‘ to get to this point, and I think when you get there it takes a little while to set in, so I’m still at a little bit of a loss for words about it. But I’m sure eventually I’ll have something better for you guys.
“That’s one of the things I told my wife [that] now I’ve got to make sure I earn it. I don’t want to be one of those guys that shows up to collect his check, or one of those guys that gets hurt every year. So, hopefully I can stay healthy and give my best effort.
Does this automatically make him a leader?
“I don’t know,” Mankins said. “I think guys follow me already by my work ethic ‘ how hard I work, and they see the hours that I’m here. I think that part takes care of itself. I don’t know, maybe someday I’ll have to speak up a little bit more. I don’t know. When that time comes, we’ll find out.”