The Patriots have confirmed the trade of Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay, and released a statement from head coach Bill Belichick on the move:

The Patriots have confirmed the trade of Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay, and released a statement from head coach Bill Belichick on the move:

“€œLogan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player.  It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program.  He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached.  Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate.  Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Tight end Tim Wright (81) is the newest passing option for Tom Brady. (Getty Images)

Tight end Tim Wright (81) is the newest passing option for Tom Brady. (Getty Images)

Along with acquiring an undisclosed draft pick (fourth-rounder according to Adam Schefter) when they traded Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers on Tuesday, the Patriots also received second-year tight end Tim Wright.

Wright, who played at Rutgers as a receiver, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buccaneers following last year’€™s draft.

While at Rutgers he played for head coach Greg Schiano in 2011 and also last year in Tampa. (It should be noted Schiano has been around Bill Belichick and the Patriots quite a bit this year, including at the combine and at a few training camp practices.)

In his two seasons at Rutgers, Wright caught 50 passes for 596 yards and four touchdowns, including 39 catches for 449 yards as a senior in 2012. After going undrafted, he signed with the Buccaneers roughly 30 minutes after the 2013 draft.

“I got to choose it and I was like, ‘I have to go down there with Coach Schiano,’” Wright said to NJ.com following the draft. “Those guys were showing me a lot of interest and they know what I can do, so I chose to go there.”

Wright was moved to tight end and played in all 16 games with Tampa Bay last year, starting in eight and finished with 54 catches for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

According to ESPN Stats and Info, Wright’€™s 73 pass reception percentage was fifth among tight ends last season (min. 50 targets).

Tampa Bay was openly not pleased with Wright earlier this preseason.

“I’ll just kind of jump on where he’s been. He hasn’t played as well as he should be playing,” Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said on Aug. 18. “He’s dropped some balls. If you’ve been watching him at practice, he’s dropped balls. He’s a big part of what we want to do with the two-receiver, two-tight end set. Tim hasn’t blocked as well inside.

“Once you’re that H-back and you don’t block, now they just say you’re another receiver and teams start going nickel against you. But if they do that, you have to at least be a good pass catcher. And Tim is a good player, he just hasn’t played as well as he needs to lately.”

Currently the Patriots have three tight ends on the roster besides Wright in Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and Steve Maneri.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Logan Mankins was regarded as one of the toughest Patriots in history. (Getty Images)

Logan Mankins was regarded as one of the toughest Patriots in history. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — For as much praise as Bill Belichick has always heaped on Logan Mankins, the Pro Bowl left guard knew, even back in April, that nothing lasts forever in the NFL.

During a media availability shortly after players began working out again, Mankins spoke as one of the captains on the team and what his long-term future in New England might hold.

“I don’t know,” the 32-year-old Mankins said at the time. “Some guys probably think they’re going to have this long, great career. I’ve been very fortunate. No catastrophic injuries and have been lucky enough to stay with one team this entire time and play for a great head coach, a great organization and a lot of great teammates.

“It’s been a fun ride and hopefully, it lasts a few more years. I don’t know. I think I’ve been truly lucky.”

On Tuesday, that ride came to an end when he and his $10 million cap number were dealt to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for low-cost tight end Tim Wright, who is only 24 and makes $500,000 annually, and a fourth-round draft pick. Again, Mankins seemed to have a keen sense of foreshadowing at the time.

“It’s a business and if you don’t think it’s a business, you’re lying to yourself about that,” Mankins said. “The team, they want good players but they want to make money, too. That’s their job. They’re just not here to hand out money to everyone. Players want to make what they think they’re able to make. It always comes down to a little bit of compromise from both ends.”

Asked what he thought of his performance in 2013, Mankins said his opinion wasn’t the most important one.

“It never matters what I think,” Mankins said in April. “It’s always what Bill thinks. To me, his opinion and my O-Line coach’s opinions are really the only ones that matter. So, as along as he hasn’t fired me yet. I think it went all right.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr

Today I want to provide our readers with some late-round ammo, and we will focus our targets to fit the various league sizes in which our readers compete. Now, while I like to think that all of us play in competitive 12-team formats, I know that forming leagues can be difficult and sometimes we have to settle for eight or 10 or whatever we can come up with.

The objective is to identify the late-round talent to target for various league size based on ADP data over the last few weeks. I’€™m focusing on players who have the potential to become steals and perform far better than their draft position would indicate. You can gain a big edge by nailing a few of these picks, and the risk is next to nothing because of the predictable strength of the waiver wire in 2014.

The ADP (sourced from myfantasyleague.com) given is specific to the league size in question. I’€™ll go from small leagues to large ones.

Jim Hackett and I will get into some of these players and much on the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour, so be sure to tune in. Our fourth show airs this Sunday at 7:30 a.m on 93.7.

EIGHT-TEAM LEAGUES

Terrance West, RB, Browns — ADP 142

I’€™ve been singing West’€™s praises since before the draft as I love his chances at earning a major role in his rookie season. That he plays behind oft-injured Ben Tate is an added bonus. Don’€™t let him get through your draft and into free agency. Roster him late.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles — ADP 143

He’€™s got big upside, but it might take a little time for him to get fully up to speed. Matthews is going to start as the third receiver in Philadelphia, but he’€™s a game-ready talent who can be a difference-maker for the Eagles. He has the potential to explode at any time. Matthews is well worth a shot at the end of your bench in small leagues. Check out his game by reading his Rotobahn scouting report.

Rueben Randle, WR, Giants — ADP 176

Randle has WR2 upside even in small formats, so I would make sure he is rostered in my league. With rookie Odell Beckham Jr. banged up a bit, Randle almost assuredly is going to get off to a good start, and he’€™s the best red zone weapon on the Giants roster — by a good margin.

10-TEAM LEAGUES

Matthews and West still are late-round options, and so is Randle. Let’€™s find a few more options since it’€™s a deeper format.

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks ADP — 145

I am not a proponent of drafting handcuffs (insurance policies) in smaller formats. Christine Michael is an exception to the rule. Seattle’€™s second year running back could be a star should he replace Marshawn Lynch for any reason. If you own Lynch, Michael is worth more to you than what’€™s typically left at the end of drafts. Check out his scouting report to see some impressive game film.

Khiry Robinson, RB, Saints — 157

He’€™s failed to make the draft board in a lot of leagues, and that’€™s a mistake. Robinson has much upside despite Mark Ingram‘€™s big preseason. Ingram’€™s health has been an issue every season, and Robinson has the ability to gain a primary role … this makes him a nice late-round flier for an RB-needy team.

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars — ADP 161

He’€™s usually left for the waiver wire in smaller formats, but I’€™d consider adding him late in the draft because Lee has a chance to be Jacksonville’€™s true No. 1 option. This makes him worthy of a roster spot in 10-team leagues. Check out his scouting report if you are unfamiliar with Lee’s game.

Knile Davis, RB, Chiefs — ADP 176

As I said with Christine Michael, some backups are worth handcuffing in smaller formats. Davis is one of those guys as he would replace a lot of the stats that an injured Jamaal Charles would leave behind. Don’€™t draft Charles and leave Davis for somebody else … or for the waiver wire. His scouting report is worth a look.

Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs — ADP 174

Kelce is another flier you can take if you feel you need some upside at tight end. He’€™s a late-round option who could explode if the Chiefs feature him, as we suspect they might. Again, we want you playing into the strength of free agency. Take players who can hit big. Kelce has that potential for the Chiefs, who are looking for offensive weapons that don’€™t play running back.

Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots — ADP – 207

He’€™s an afterthought in 10-team drafts so far, but I think Dobson has enough upside to be drafted as a deep upside receiver. The fact that we’ve seen nothing of him so far is causing drafters to avoid him, but I still see him as the best outside weapon in New England. He’€™s good value in the last few rounds.

12-TEAM LEAGUES

Both handcuff players, Michael and Davis are even more crucial at this league size, and they will go off the board a bit sooner. If you draft Jamaal Charles or Marshawn Lynch, make them a priority once your key starters and high upside reserves are in-place.

I’€™ll give more options here with a wider ADP spectrum as 12-team leagues often have deeper benches than smaller formats.

Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Giants — ADP 180

You can’€™t take him too early because his hamstring problems could spill over into the regular season. Still, this guy went 12th overall for a reason and the Giants will be featuring him soon enough. I love him as a high-upside WR5 or WR6.

Cody Latimer, WR, Broncos — ADP 193

He can’€™t start for you right away, but he is close to a significant role in a Payton Manning offense … and all he needs is for Wes Welker or Emmanuel Sanders to miss time. I am rostering Latimer late the same way I was rostering Julius Thomas last season. It’€™s a risk worth taking. Read Latimer’s scouting report if you’ve seen him in action.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals — ADP 232

Sanu is a short-term fix for those who need help at WR3 or flex early in the season. Sanu should post nice numbers in Weeks 1-3 while he fills in for the injured Marvin Jones. If you need help early,
this is your guy.

Dri Archer, RB, Steelers — ADP 236

We are big on Archer overall, and he can help you in large formats … especially large PPT formats. We expect him to make big plays on most weeks and to gain momentum as the year wears on. This kid is explosive. Check out his scouting report if you’ve never seen him play.

Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Panthers — ADP 247

He can help you in deep PPR formats and even in standard scoring. Cotchery is going to be a go-to option for Cam Newton and he’€™ll almost always face single coverage. He should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings — ADP 248

He’€™s often undrafted, and that’€™s not happening in any big league that I’€™m in, especially if I drafted Adrian Peterson early. I know most people are assuming that Matt Asiata will be the starter in the event of a Peterson injury, but we feel strongly that it would be a shared backfield, with McKinnon eventually becoming the more valuable of the two. He was taken in Round 3 for a reason. The ex-triple option
quarterback is a versatile and dynamic athlete who will get better every week as he learns Norv Turner‘€™s offense. He is well worth an investment late in 12-team leagues.

DeAnthony Thomas, RB, Chiefs — ADP 254

As with Archer, he’€™s a player who may take some time, or may explode right away. I like the idea of rostering him in deep leagues, especially if they use PPR scoring. By my math, the Chiefs have to make a big weapon out of either Travis Kelce or Thomas. They need places to throw the football and they need players who can make plays with the ball in their hands. Thomas could play a role as a slot receiver and as a change-of-pace back. Think Danny Woodhead with the ability to take it to the house. You can often get him at the very end … even in PPR leagues.

14-TEAM LEAGUES

All of the above names apply to these groups as well, but let’€™s add a few more that stick out when looking at 14-team ADP data.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cleveland — ADP 210

He can be a weekly option for you in big formats for as long as his health holds up. Hawkins is one of the few players in Cleveland who can get open against man-to-man coverage. He’€™ll make weekly plays and have value in deeper leagues.

Jonathan Grimes, RB, Texans — ADP 216

In big leagues, Grimes is a smart way to protect yourself against an injury to Arian Foster. He’€™s the current backup and he’€™s a good back. If your 12-team league has deep benches, Grimes is worth a look in that league size as well.

John Brown, WR, Cardinals — ADP 241

The rookie is a Rotobahn favorite. If you don’€™t know him, spend a few minutes with his scouting report. Brown is going to be the third receiver in Arizona, and when you consider how much attention Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd draw, you have to like Brown’€™s chance of making some big plays. He’€™s certainly worth a look in big formats and he could have major upside if one of the big two goes down.

Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders — ADP 274

This is a late-round target of mine in big leagues because I love his talent and I don’€™t trust the two old backs in front of him on Oakland’€™s depth chart. All you need is an injury to Maurice Jones-Drew or Darren McFadden and you have an nice flex option with significant upside. Check out our original scouting report on Murray if you are unfamiliar with his game.

Brian Quick, WR, Rams — ADP 290

He’€™ll probably stay off the radar with Sam Bradford going down for the year, but I see some sleeper potential with Quick, who is entering his third year and is exhibiting improved route-running in camp. Quick has upside as a red zone weapon in an offense looking for them. He should be owned in all leagues that roster more than 200 players.

Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks — ADP 317

If I draft Percy Harvin in a really big league, I like the idea of taking Richardson late. The second-round pick might be an intermittent factor as a rookie, but if Harvin goes down, as he’€™s been known to do, Richardson’€™s value could explode. He’€™s a rare WR handcuff option that makes sense in big formats. Check out his scouting report if you’re never seen him play.

Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots — ADP higher than 317

Bolden currently is not getting drafted in most big leagues. That may change soon if the rumors of Stevan Ridley’€™s release prove to be true. Either way, we like Bolden’€™s all-around game. Few backs can play power roles and skill roles at a high level. He’€™s well worth a look late in all leagues that have more than 12 teams. He’€™s a potential steal and he’€™s zero risk right now.

Charles Johnson, WR, Browns — ADP higher than 317

Like with Bolden, Johnson is not getting drafted. It’€™s understandable, but I am taking him late in big leagues because I think he could evolve to become Cleveland’€™s No. 1 option within a month or so. It’€™s a low risk, high-upside move late in big leagues.

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Blog Author: 
Peter Davidson

FOXBORO — It’s official. The Logan Mankins era is over in New England.

The Patriots have agreed to the parameters on a deal that would send left guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for tight end Tim Wright and a draft pick, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

The 32-year-old Mankins, a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, has played his entire career in New England. A six-time Pro Bowler, he will go to Tampa Bay in exchange for Wright, a 24-year-old out of Rutgers who had 54 catches for 571 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie year last season with the Bucs.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Defensive back Travis Hawkins will be part of the Patriots cuts on Tuesday, according to a league source.

Travis Hawkins

Travis Hawkins

FOXBORO — Defensive back Travis Hawkins will be part of the Patriots cuts on Tuesday, according to a league source.

The 23-year-old Hawks, transferred to Delaware after two seasons at Maryland. The 5-10, 195-pounder, had 66 total tackles, four interceptions and eight passes defensed last season and was named first-team all-conference in 2013. He was signed as a rookie free agent in May by the Patriots.

New England needs to be at the league-mandated limit of 75 players on its active roster by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald was the first to report the transaction.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The cuts keep coming as the Patriots try and get to the league-mandated limit of 75 players on the roster by 4 p.m. Tuesday.