Sounds like Mankins intends to play the field

191543.jpg

Sounds like Mankins intends to play the field

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

It doesn't sound like bygones are necessarily bygones for Logan Mankins. Tuesday at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, Mankins took a sarcastic swipe at Patriots owner Robert Kraft and said "32 teams" are in play for his services once free agency opens.
Speaking to Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald, Mankins was asked whether he apologized to Patriots owner Robert Kraft for questioning Kraft's integrity last summer.
"Well, everyone knows I apologized to Mr. Kraft. He told everyone," Mankins said in what Guregian said was a tone laced with sarcasm. Mankins was one of the players caught up in a CBA loophole that prevented him from becoming a free agent last spring. He was instead a restricted free agent bound to the Patriots. Mankins expected a contract extension anyway. The Patriots offered a five-year deal that would have made Mankins one of the highest-paid players at his position in the league. Mankins and his agent, Frank Bauer, turned their nose up to that and went on the offensive. Mankins joined the Patriots after missing seven games and was brilliant, being selected not only for the Pro Bowl but also as an All-Pro. His price tag has only gone up. And while he didn't rule out the Patriots, the fact he basically lumped them in with everyone else shows the mindset Mankins is working with. "There are 32 teams in play," Mankins told Guregian. "Whatever one I feel is the best situation for me.Theres always a possibility for the Patriots. But to tell you the truth, I havent given it much thought right now. If there was a CBA, Im sure Id be thinking about it a lot more."The Patriots could franchise Mankins (if there's a franchise tag when the new CBA is ratified), but that won't likely be a hit with Mankins. Based on the cordial relations the Pats and Mankins seemed to have from the time he reported (three weeks earlier than he needed to to get an accrued season) through the end of the year, I wondered if an informal agreement had been reached between Mankins and the team. An agreement that would see him signed before the ink was dry on a new CBA. But his comments on Tuesday indicate he - at least outwardly - has no such special allegiance to the Patriots.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”