Somber Patriots react to shocking Mankins trade

Somber Patriots react to shocking Mankins trade
August 26, 2014, 6:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- Inside the Patriots locker room, players spoke in hushed tones. One of their veteran leaders and captains, Logan Mankins, had been dealt early in the day and his former teammates were clearly we're still coming to grips with the move after practice.

Here's a collection of the reactions to the trade, which landed New England a 2015 fourth-round pick and tight end Tim Wright, from Patriots players:

"I think Logan is a guy that everyone in this locker room can look to and try to be like. He's meant so much to this team over the years. He's done so much for this team. He's done a lot for me personally and in my career. Him and his family both. It's never an easy thing. We just try to move forward from here as best we can."

Asked if he would ever get used to seeing longtime teammates be moved, Slater remembered a discussion he had with his father, NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Slater: "I don't think so. I remember one of the first conversations I had with my dad was about these sorts of things, and if he didn't get used to it after twenty years, I don't think I am either."

The Patriots found out about the move before Tuesday's practice from coach Bill Belichick. Slater, who often warms up with the offensive linemen, said it was an odd day: "We're human. All of us in here are human. This is a job, we understand that, but there's a human element involved. Obviously a guy like that that many of us lean on for leadership and toughness. It's obviously a tough thing, but we went out and we knew we had a job to do today on the practice field and we tried to do it as well as we could."

"I can't say enough good things about him. Him and his family got great morals, great ethics, great work ethic. Tremendous guy. He's gonna be great wherever he goes. For the Patriots, we move on. As sad as that is. It's exciting, too. We move on to the thrills of the season."

Solder explained that the news was difficult to digest: "It's all coming on us pretty quickly. So really I just reflect. He's an awesome guy, great person, and he's gonna continue to be those things. Surely hope to have a great relationship with him as we go ahead and move forward in life. As the Patriots go, he's not here anymore so we worry about what we can worry about."

Mankins is known as one of the toughest players in the NFL. Solder said he learned a great deal about what it means to be tough in the three years they played alongside each other: "It's not so much about what he said. It's about what he does. Every play, every down, he just is excited. Loves playing. Very physical. Very tough. I think that's just who he was. Just to absorb some of that, it was neat to be around him."

"The atmosphere was a little down today about what happened today with Logan. But at the same time we gotta go out there and execute our jobs. It's very sad. He's been here a long time. I've got a lot of respect for him from playing against him in the past. He's a class act. That's how the business goes, I wish him the best. I wish we wouldn't even be talking about this at this point. But it is what it is. I wish him the best."

Though Revis has only been a member of the Patriots since he signed as a free agent this offseason, he understood what Mankins meant to the team: "I've only been here for a couple months but Mankins is known around the league as being one of the best offensive linemen in the game. He's proven that and he's done that for a long time. I think you just gotta look at it as respect for him. Teammate for a couple months but I respect him playing against him in the past."

Perhaps one of the shrewdest businessmen in football, Revis said that you can't be shocked by any move that gets made in business of the NFL: "You have to get used to it . . . If we could take that away, we'd all be playing for free and we wouldn't have to worry about it. I mean this is not Pop Warner. This is not high school. This is the NFL and that's how it goes."

"He brought a toughness, a tenacity, a guy that just came in and did his job. He personally, he's helped me. And his family have been great in my career. Everything that he's done for me, being able to talk to him, the captain that he was, being the teammate that he was . . . It's a crazy business, but that's the business part. I wish him and his family nothing but great things."

Edelman has been around the league long enough to see some surprising moves, but it's still difficult for brace for a departure of this magnitude: "It's always a little shocking, but a lot of this stuff when it goes down, it's a job, we just gotta move on and we gotta prepare with what we've got coming up."

Early in his career, Edelman hung with Mankins and his family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. He repeatedly spoke of how much they helped him early on in his professional life. It's clear that in Edelman's case, Mankins was as much a friend as he was a teammate: "It's surprising but not surprising. Just the nature of the business. I wish him and his family the best. He's been a big help in my career. Just to see a guy come in, do his job, not say a word, play with the tenacity that he does. He's an unbelievable player. He was a great captain and he was a great teammate."

Edelman added: "It's tough. We're all human. We all form relationships. But there's a business aspect to the gamea and coach is gonna do what's best for the team. If that's what he feels, then that's what he feels."

"Logan was a staple of toughness around here. He really brought it everyday. We're just really going to have to try to take what we've learned from watching Logan and everyone's gonna have to emulate the things he brought to the game. He's a great player and I had the utmost respect for him, the way he approached the game and the way he played with so much tenacity. I kind of try to play the game that way myself. We'll have to figure out a way and continue to chug along."

Develin has been in the NFL for four years, and he -- like many of his teammates -- understands the reality of the career he's chosen: "It makes you raise an eyebrow, but at the end of the day, this is a business. This is the NFL and this is the way it's going to be forever. You just gotta bring yourself back down and realize it's just the way things are. We've gotta continue to move on and build this team."

Replacing the toughness and tenacity that characterized Mankins' game will be a challenge, McCourty admitted: "You try. That's it. I'd be lying if I said, 'We can do this, that and that and we're good.' You don't know. You just try and that's the only thing you can really do.

In only his second year in the league Duron Harmon hasn't been around Mankins for long, but he understood just how important Mankins was to the identity of the team: "Logan Mankins, he's kind of like irreplaceable . . . It's tough. That's one of the leaders. One of the captains. But it's just a part of the business. I'm learning -- learning fast -- that there's always the business part of this profession as well."