Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Aug 2011

Logan Mankins Signs Long-Term Extension With Patriots

After being franchise tagged earlier this offseason and staging a dramatic holdout through most of 2010, the Patriots have finally signed guard Logan Mankins to a long-term deal.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 10 Aug 2011

19 comments, Last at 14 Aug 2011, 6:56am by Mr Shush


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 5:27pm

Second language and bad reading comprehension and all; can anyone explain what the hell "where he refused to sign a contract he'd agreed to if he had to apologize to his owner" means?

by heylarry21 :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 5:30pm

it means that he didn't want the agreed upon contract if, as a part of the deal, he had to apologize to the owner

by MJK :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 6:19pm

Last year, the Patriots offered Mankins a multi-year deal that, according to one agent familiar with it, would have allegedly made him one of the best paid guards in the league, and that said agent would have encouraged his clients to sign. Whether or not that's true, who knows, but what is known is that Mankins rejected a long term deal from the Patriots, and then held out half the season (losing about $2M in the process).

There are a number of alleged reasons why Mankins rejected it. Among different rumors that surfaced was that the deal was less than Greer got in New Orleans and Mankins didn't like that, that the deal was generous but had a small salary for the first year and that he objected to that, etc.

However, the most prevalent rumor as to why he rejected it was this. Mankins at one point made some comments to the press (or perhaps his agent did...I don't remember) that he felt he had been "lied to" by people in the Patriots organization, and that it was either Kraft or Belichick. The rumor is that the multi-year deal had as a condition that he publicly apologize for alleging that Kraft was a liar, and that he refused to do that.

Earlier this year, Mankins "clarified" that when he said he was "lied to", he had never been referring to Kraft, and that he and Kraft had a good relationship, and that apologizing was never a condition for the long term deal.

It's really tough to know how much is truth, and how much is rumor. But that's the background.

by Agamemnon :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 7:23pm

How about this:

"in which he refused to sign a contract which he had agreed to with the stipulation that he apologize to his owner." There's lots of idiomatic ellipses in the original text.

by Andrew Potter :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 7:47pm

"in which he refused to sign an otherwise agreeable contract due to the stipulation that he apologize to the team owner."

by Karma Coma :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 6:53pm

There weren't multiple franchise tags. In fact, Mankins has never played (and may never play) under the franchise tag. The tag was applied to him this year for the first time, but now that a long-term deal has been reached, well, no more tag.

by Rivers McCown :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:23am


Guess I don't have to worry about FO franchise tagging me any time soon.

(Book deadline, etc. etc.)

by dada (not verified) :: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 9:25pm

OH THANK GOD!!!!!!! This is the best move during FA for the Patriots. I was afraid that the offensive line was going to collapse this year and kill Brady.

Now at least the Patriots have LG tied up, can start looking to reform LT, RG and C.

by MJK :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 1:00am

I don't think LT is an issue. Matt Light resigned with the team, and while he certainly isn't HoF bound (or even a top 10 left tackle), I think he's still above averge and has a bit left in the tank. Then they have Vollmer, who nominally plays RT but is arguably better at LT than Light, and they spent a first round pick on their (hypothetical) LT of the futuer in Solder. If Solder doesn't work out at LT, he can swing to RT and Vollmer can play LT.

At center and RG, the Pats have decent starters but very limited depth (and both starting players are injured at the moment)--Koppen is adequate, and Connoly is probably a little bit above average. However, they're quite thin, so I would expect you're right and they probalby could use some help on the inside line.

Basically, right now they have an excellent guard in Mankins, and an excellent tackle in Vollmer, a decent tackle, center, and guard in Light, Koppen, and Connoly, and very little depth behind them unless some of the rookies pan out.

by Led :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:24am

To be fair, no team really has much depth in the OL, if by depth you mean backups with proven ability to be solid starters. Backup linemen are prospects and journeymen. Some of those guys are better than others but you don't really know if they're good enough to start until they're forced into the role.

by Anonymous454545 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 12:10pm

As a Pats fan, I must admit a whole lot of what is written about the Patriots is way overblown, but their stability in line play if not "continuity" has been remarkable over the last decade. Like the defense they stress depth and versatility. They mix a couple high draft picks with lower round guys, college wrestlers, cast-offs from other teams and somehow survive the inevitable injuries without any Winston Justice like collapses. They don't make any expensive FA forays or trades for the OL, but they are always ready to play multiple positions with very few penalties and obvious mistakes (Nick Kaczur, excluded).

On paper their line is always a weakness, being criticized by Warren Sapp before the Super Bowl, for example, and then the game happens and you notice absolutely nothing about the line (which is a good thing). Since TV announcers are mostly navel gazing and don't report on substitutions, you barely even notice when new guys are in there.

Mankins, however, is the exception, you notice when he's out there on running plays, screens and hitches--he often looks like an LB running the wrong way. Glad to see him signed and the Pats with 3 decent tackles on roster (assuming the pikc works out).

by roguerouge :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 3:10pm

I don't know what dada's talking about: they were #1 in run blocking last year and 6th in pass blocking according to this site. Breaking the running down, they were 8th in power blocking, 2nd in not getting stuffed, 6th in second level blocking... they were also top 5 in runs in every direction except off left tackle.

They've been a team strength for years too. Fifth in run blocking and 2nd in pass blocking in 2009. Third in run blocking in 2008, 26th in the pass (the year of Cassell). Number 1 and number 4 in 2007. 12th and 8th in 2006.

The pass blocking may be something about Brady, but I doubt all of it, and the run blocking's been done with a RB committee sometimes 4 RBs deep.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 3:17pm

You only counted BenJarvus Green-Ellis as one person, right?

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 9:18am

I think the suspicion would be that the run blocking (or rather, the success of the running game) has something to do with Brady as well. The Patriots offensive line is solid, but it's not exactly the 2004 Chiefs, and they are able to run the ball more successfully than they otherwise would be because opponents are (justifiably) terrified of the pass.

by roguerouge :: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 4:57pm

Possibly. Does that hold up for other top-passing teams in the last five years?

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 08/13/2011 - 8:21am

I can't imagine how one would go about proving it, but consider this by way of further anecdotal evidence: last year, Indy's run offense ranked 10th in the league by DVOA at 1.9%, while Green Bay's was 11th at 1.8%. That's one team with a stable of mediocre backs and a terrible line, and one with a decent line but reduced to their 85th string running back. Something has to explain why the results were so much better than the components.

Of course, the 2009 Texans and Chargers stand as proof that if your running backs are sufficiently awful, no amount of passing threat can give you an effective running game. NB Both teams fielded running backs who had been good at other times, but were severely limited by injury. If your starter's hurt, just use a back-up.

Edit: Just to be clear, I think the Patriots' running game is pretty good in and of itself. I just think it's not as good as its production would superficially suggest.

by MJK :: Sat, 08/13/2011 - 12:59pm

Well, I just looked at all 32 teams passing and running DVOA's for the last five years. They are definitely correlated. Correlation coefficient is 0.433 (R-squared is 0.188). That implies a fairly strong correltaion, but not a perfect dependence.

Of course, this says nothing about causality. It could mean that a good passing offense causes a good running offense, or that a good running game causes a good passing game, or that both running and passing skill are caused by a third variable (e.g. coaching quality). Probably a little bit of all three, and as is pointed out, some teams are abysmal at one no matter how good they are at the other.

It probably would be better to try to control for some of these variables...maybe only consider a subset of the "top passing teams", or only consider teams that have good year-to-year consistency. But for a quick look, I definitely would say that the data suggests that a good passing game could make the running game look better than it would be if the passing game sucked.

by Mr Shush :: Sun, 08/14/2011 - 6:56am

I do think the nature of the proposed mechanism is likely to make it difficult to really isolate the effect statistically. After all, what we're really suggesting is that a good passing game alters the defense's behavior, probably in a decidedly non-linear way. It doesn't make the run offense better, it makes the opposing run defense worse. But not evenly. For example, most teams in 2010 facing the Texans viewed Andre Johnson as the main threat, despite his injury struggles, and as a result Arian Foster did not see too many 8 man fronts. The passing game strengthened the running game. But the Giants concluded that Johnson and Daniels weren't healthy enough to punish them, sold out almost entirely to stop the run, and shut Foster (and the Texans) down almost completely. If the receivers had been healthy, they might have run riot (running game helping the passing game) - and that's another factor worth considering - gameplans focused on shutting down running games are often reasonably successful at doing so, even against teams that are very good at running the ball, so the biggest improvements to passing caused by running strength may actually be on teams with indifferent run offense DVOA (eg. 2008 Falcons, 2009 Vikings).

If we're looking for a common causal factor, on the other hand, I'd say the most obviously significant would be the offensive line.

by MJK :: Thu, 08/11/2011 - 9:44pm

Evidence the Patriots are not cheap:

Here's the Mankins deal per Mike Reiss...
The six-year, $51 million deal extends through 2016.

Signing bonus
$20 million

Base salaries
2011: $1.5 million
2012: $3 million
2013: $6 million
2014: $6.5 million
2015: $7 million
2016: $7 million

This makes Mankins the highest paid interior lineman in the NFL.

So the Patriots do break the bank for players...when they judge the player to be worth it.