By Scott A Benson, Patriots Daily Staff

Mankins: "If I only knew then..."

Like most Patriots fans, I like Logan Mankins. He may not be the most accomplished guard of the Belichick era (that would be Steve Neal, wouldn’t it?) but he’s probably the most skilled. I’d hoped that his contract situation would be peacefully resolved like Vince Wilfork’s, and it makes no difference to me whether he makes seven or eight million a year, or whether he gets 15 or 20 million guaranteed.

The Patriots do, and Mankins does, of course. So they must grind away and make sausage until it is resolved. I just prefer they keep it to themselves and leave me the hell out of it.

I think the Pats have kept up their end of the bargain – if a team functionary has whispered a thing about Mankins and his value over the past several months, it raised barely a blip with anybody. And what are the chances of that happening when you routinely have 40 people covering the team?

Mankins has grumbled now and again but the way I figure it, there’s a lot at stake, and there’s nothing wrong with saying you intend to get all that you can. There’s also nothing wrong with voicing some impatience with the process. Wilfork did, and no real harm was done.

But when you start congratulating yourself for being a team player by playing out an “undervalued deal” (why isn’t your word your bond where that is concerned?) and most especially when you start in with the shopworn ‘Pats as immoral lying skinflints’ rhetoric, that’s where I check out on Logan Mankins.

After listening to Mankins go Asante Samuel in the afternoon, the Pats broke their silence and floated the word that Mankins has for some time turned down a deal that would average $7M a season.

Now Team Mankins will immediately cry foul and claim that unless the team releases specific details about the bonus and distribution of the money associated with that offer, they’re lying again. Which PROVES Logan’s point! And on it goes.

Meanwhile he and his agent can whisper about how only players who bitch get paid in New England, and nobody will ask THEM to be more specific. They’ll just congratulate him for his principled stand, and for perspective, break down the Deion Branch situation one more time.

We’ve heard this bullshit before, and we know where it ends up. Wake me when get there.