Logan Mankins, the Patriots left guard who has been engaged in a contract battle with the team throughout the offseason, apparently won't be taking the field for New England any time soon. Friday night, his agent, Frank Bauer, spoke to the Boston Herald and said of the contract talks between his client and the team: "There's nothing happening. There's nothing going on. It's dead."
Bauer added that he has not heard from the Patriots since May 4.
Mankins, a restricted free agent, was tendered by the Patriots at the highest possible level ($3.26 million), and when the Pro Bowl guard chose not to sign that tender on June 15, the team was allowed to lower the value to 110% of his 2009 salary ($1.54 million), which they promptly did. Mankins responded by demanding a trade, did not show up to the June minicamp, and has not reported to training camp.
The Globe's Albert Breer details that the next step in this drama will likely occur Sunday -- that's the deadline for the Patriots to notify Mankins their intent to put him on the roster exempt list, a move that the Pats can do beginning midnight on Thursday.
If the club puts Mankins on that list, he'll have to sit out three games after he signs before joining the roster. Preseason games do count, so if, say, he signed before the third preseason game, he'd be eligible after Week 1. The real pressure point here comes in midseason -- Mankins needs to be on the roster for six games to accrue the season towards free agency. If he's on the roster exempt list, he'll need to sign before the club's eighth game (Week 9) to play in its 11th contest.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight.