Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are notorious for making "head scratching" moves during the off-season. They usually pan out for the Patriots but the latest roster move by Belichick had people asking why?
Earlier this week the Patriots dealt pro-bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a draft pick. Mankins, the 32-year-old offensive guard played his college ball for the Fresno State Bulldogs. If you are wondering what the Patriots just gave up in Mankins, they lose one of Tom Brady's most reliable personal protectors. A large part of why Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen have had gaping holes to run through up front. Mankins has six pro bowl appearances and five times a member of the NFL all-pro team.
So why would
deal such a decorated player and such an important role to what they do on
offense? What does everything come down to, money. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com
tweeted this out yesterday morning:
Why did #Patriots end up dealing Pro Bowl G Logan Mankins? They asked him to take a pay cut. He refused (as you’d expect). Became available
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2014
In return, the Patriots received a second year tight end that could fulfill the hole that Aaron Hernandez left vacant following his arrest. It also seems like Rob Gronkowski's health is always in question these days, so there may be room for Wright's role to grow within the offense. In a mediocre Bucs offense last season, Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns. A very solid campaign for a rookie tight end that only started in eight games last season.
Somehow, someway this move will eventually work out for the Patriots in a positive way. I refuse to bet against them as long as Brady is the quarterback and Belichick is still the man in charge. According to the Patriots depth chart, second year player Josh Kline will replace Mankins at left guard. Some may start to whisper Richie Incognito rumors but we'll have to take a wait and see approach to that rumor.