Only $6.5 mil/yr? Screw you!

My favorite team, The New England Patriots, has one of the league’s better players, Logan Mankins, at one of its least valuable positions, offensive guard.

Mankins' rookie contract has expired, but by NFL rules (negotiated with the Player’s Association), Mankins is a “restricted free agent” because he has not played in the league long enough to be an “unrestricted free agent.”

This offseason, Mankins was free to sign with any other team, but that team would have had to compensate the Patriots. No team stepped forward with such a mega-deal, so Mankins' choice boiled down to: 1) accept the Patriots' one-year, $3.3 million contract offer and then become an “unrestricted free agent”; 2) accept the Patriots' 7-year, $45.5 million ($6.5 mil/yr) contract offer; or, 3) negotiate a compromise between his demands (7 years, $60 million) and the Patriots' offers.

Mankins chose option #4: Demanding a trade and telling the media he felt lied to by the Patriots, esp. owner Bob Kraft. Bob Kraft is one of the nicest owners in professional sports, so many Patriots fans soured on Mankins after that attack.

The strangest thing is that Mankins apparently doesn’t need or use much money:

friends say Mankins does not spend any money. He has been frugal and cautious with his salary, they say, with a ranch that is paid for and self-sufficient, with few operating costs.

There are no flashy cars in his driveway, for instance, and Mankins has held onto most of the more than $7 million he has earned in his five years. Such a situation makes it easier for Mankins to decline to sign the $3.3 million restricted free agent tender and not show up for training camp.

So the man doesn’t need or spend money, yet $6.5 mil/year is an insult?

He believes they promised to make him better compensated than Saints guard Jahri Evans, who recently signed a seven-year, $56.7 million deal ($8.1 million average). Mankins’ camp said the Pats offered a deal worth only $6.5 million per season (seven years, $45.5 million).

“All we want is fair market value, and that’s like comparing an apple to a watermelon,” Frank Bauer, Mankins’ agent, told the Herald on Aug. 13. “Logan should be in (Evans’) bracket. We’re not asking for $8.5 or $9 million.”

I don’t get it. Mankins is looking at the best-paid guard in football (by far) and saying, “Give me what he has. Anything less is an insult.”

I guess it’s vanity. Mankins has no use for $8 million a year, but his pride can’t accept a penny less? What kind of message is he sending to fans, esp. young fans?

Posted by James on Tuesday, August 24, 2010