In response to the jaw-dropping trade that sent All-Pro offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draft pick, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke out about the deal, saying it was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make.
On Tuesday, Belichick released a statement talking fondly of Mankins while teammates and fans scratched their heads over the move. He said, “Logan 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.”
It is hard to believe that a coach like Belichick would make a move such as the one he made on Tuesday by trading the leader of his offensive line without assurance that the team will be okay. Belichick is notorious for letting players go right before they decline in play. It seems as though this might be the case with the 32-year-old Mankins.
“He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached,” He continued. “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.”
The Patriots did fill a need by acquiring a tight end, but unloading Mankins seems to be based on money and freeing up some money to extend the contracts of players such as Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and Chandler Jones. If that is the case, Patriots fans will be forgiving of Belichick, but if the offensive line gets Tom Brady killed this year, the “In Bill We Trust” motto will lose its weight dramatically.