In a video on BleacherReport.com, veteran NFL reporter Jason Cole said that the trade of Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers for Tim Wright and a draft pick was not well-received by Patriots players. In particular, he said, Tom Brady was “very upset” with the move.
“Tom Brady had a very emotional reaction to what happened yesterday. He was not happy with this move,” Cole said. “There’s usually a very special bond that you have between offensive linemen and quarterbacks; quarterbacks depend on those guys so much. That relationship can get very rough at times, they’ll talk to each other in very harsh terms because everything is so on the line, they’re so nerve-wracked about it, but I will say Brady, initially, he was very upset with this trade. We’ll see how he reacts going forward; he usually finds his calm after a day or two.”
“Other players on the team were also a little bit concerned about what is the direction necessarily. I think there is some understanding that the team needed a tight end, but why would you necessarily give up a player of his caliber for a short-term fix at tight end?”
As has been reported, Cole said that the Patriots had asked Mankins to take a pay cut after the Pro Bowl in February. He also said that the savings from trading Mankins had nothing to do with trying to sign other players such as Darrelle Revis.
Former Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The 33-year-old Kelly started five games for the Patriots last season before his season ended because of a torn ACL. The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder had 2 1/2 sacks for New England in 2013. He was released over the weekend.
Just because a player is cut by the Patriots doesn’t mean they still can’t have a career in New England.
All six of the players who were released by the Patriots on Tuesday have practice squad eligibility: defensive lineman Ben Bass, defensive back Travis Hawkins, wide receiver Derrick Johnson, linebacker Deontae Skinner, defensive back Jemea Thomas and wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser were all cut loose by New England on Tuesday. However, they can all be added to the p-squad following the final series of cuts later this month, provided they pass through waivers.
Chances are better this year than in years’ past that players who are released by the team could find their way back via the practice squad, as the practice squad rosters have been expanded from eight to 10 for the 2014 season.
The two players they placed on injured reserve — running back Tyler Gaffney and linebacker Cameron Gordon — do not have practice squad eligibility, as they were placed on IR.
Could Josh Kline be the replacement for the departed Logan Mankins? (Getty Images)
FOXBORO — In the space of 10 months, the Patriots have lost their longtime offensive line coach to retirement and their heart-and-soul offensive line captain to NFL economics.
The question is now, what will the Patriots do without Dante Scarnecchia and Logan Mankins. Part of that question has already been answered as new offensive line coach Dave Duglielmo has had a full spring and summer with the players he hopes will keep Tom Brady clean, healthy and upright all season.
But the second part of that equation is a big TBD.
Ask Nate Solder and he has no doubt that Duglielmo, Bill Belichick will find an answer from those offensive linemen left behind in the Patriots locker room.
“We have a lot of guys with a lot of good experience, like Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell and Sebastian Vollmer and there’s a whole list of guys who know what they’re doing. We can definitely get by,” Solder said.
Obviously, the Patriots are looking for much more than just getting by when it comes to keeping No. 12 upright. They’re not looking for the next Pro Bowler per se, but rather someone who will give them consistent play from the left guard position that they’ve gotten for the past nine seasons from Mankins.
And while Connolly and Wendell could be options at left guard, there are other names to consider who could step in immediately. Jordan Devey, Josh Kline and Marcus Cannon. All three have played the interior line at some point in their time in New England, with Devey and Kline getting the most reps during games while Cannon has played primarily tackle, filling in at right tackle last season when Sebastian Vollmer went down with a season-ending broken leg.
Then, late in the season, against the Ravens in Baltimore, Belichick provided some possible foreshadowing of life without Mankins at left guard. With Solder out with a concussion, the team shifted Mankins to left tackle. It was the 24-year-old Kline who filled in for Mankins at left guard, making his first career NFL start.
Whoever gets the call at left guard, Solder is completely confident that he can help lead the new group into the 2014 season.
“A ton of confidence,” Solder said. “Those guys work so hard and they’re awesome people. I have a ton of confidence. That’s why they’re here. The way I kind of view leadership is to do my job the best that I can. If that influences people, I hope it does, but that’s kind of the role I see myself in.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia breaks down the details of a blockbuster trade that sends six-time Pro Bowl starting left guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for second-year tight end Tim Wright and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick.
FOXBORO — For the former Patriots teammates of Logan Mankins, Tuesday was harder than any offseason or training camp practice they’ve had this season.
After their first practice without the six-time Pro Bowl left guard, they came off the field and had to face the reality that the business side of the NFL and the Patriots had hit home. Mankins’ locker was in tact along with some team equipment but his teammates were left to answer questions about his sudden departure to Tampa Bay.
“He’s the type of guy you don’t know if get that type of teammate ever again,” safety Devin McCourty said. “He’s a tough guy. The different injuries he’s played through, being out there every snap, every chance he could get. When I got here, he wasn’t at here at first because he was home and he missed first couple of games. He came back and you could see the difference up front in how everybody played. He went to the Pro Bowl in a half-year. I think that just spoke volumes about a guy who you just see his leadership stand out as soon as he steps on the field.
“Since I’ve been here, he’s a guy you look up to, and I’m a defensive back and that’s watching the offensive line. Tampa is going to get one helluva player, and guy.”
McCourty the player then spoke like McCourty a team captain.
“There are some things you can’t control. You just accept,” he added. “It’s tough, it’s tough. You just tell yourself, and it starts the older guys on the team, you have to go out there and play. You can’t just sit there and sulk or be disappointed in your mind. You just have to go out there and play and make sure the younger and go about it and play and follow your lead. That’s the way I looked at today.
“This time of year is difficult. When we have 90 guys, whether it’s a guy like Travis Hawkins, in my room every day asking me a bunch of questions, working his tail off. Coach says it every year, this is a tough time for everybody. Coaches don’t like making these decisions. This one felt a little bit more because of the type of player Logan was and how long he’s been here.”
Mankins is gone to Tampa Bay for tight end Tim Wright and a 2015 fourth-round pick. Matthew Slater is another Patriots player who, like Mankins, has served as a captain before. He admitted that once the team was informed by Bill Belichick of the trade before practice Tuesday, it was tough going about business.
“It is difficult,” Slater said. “You know a guy for a number of years, you get to know his family, his kids, and that makes it tough. There is always a human element involved. We signed up to do a job here, and we understand what that job entails, and we understand what comes along with that, but at the same time, you can’t separate yourself from the human element, and the emotions and feelings that come along with it.
“I think we’ll definitely have to be very mentally tough during this time, because Logan brought a lot in the department of leadership, a lot in the department in toughness. He brought a lot in a lot of departments. So we have to be mentally tough, we have to understand that Coach Belichick is always going to do what he thinks is best for the football team, and we just have to be resilient and move forward and there’s still a job to be done. That’s what we’re here to do.”
Several offensive linemen declined comment, understandably sensitive to the dramatic change in the locker room. But Nate Solder, suddenly a leader on the offensive line, was one of those who did speak.
“Man, what an awesome guy. What an awesome player. So honored to play with that guy. So honored to get to know him and his family,” he said. “I can’t say enough good things about him. Him and his family, he has great morals, great ethics, a great work ethic. He’s a tremendous guy and is going to be great wherever he goes. So for the Patriots, we move on, as sad as that is. It’s exciting, too, we move on to the thrills of the season.”