Kraft credits pre-lockout planning for signings

Kraft credits pre-lockout planning for signings
August 11, 2011, 1:44 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- The Patriots probably could have done without the whole Logan Mankins mess since 2009. He wanted to stay; they wanted him to stay . . . it could have gotten done. But the Patriots were adhering to some self-imposed rules over the past couple of years and fiscal tightness was one of them. Patriots owner Robert Kraft alluded to the strategy on Wednesday when discussing Mankins. "Logan Mankins will be signed up soon, hopefully to be a Patriot for life," he began. "That couldnt have happened if we didnt do our planning before we went into the lockout so I just want you to know that that has been done with a lot of thought and a lot of planning and we hope to have a lot of fun down here in Foxborough."There's no question the looming lockout and the uncapped yearhad been major considerations for the Patriots front office going back to 2008.Long-term deals taking players through the lockout weren't really executed until last summer when the team signed Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork and Stephen Gostkowski.And once the lockout was settled, it was clear the time was perfect to get Mankins' deal done.The relative buying spree the team's been on in the past two weeks is, if Kraft is being interpreted correctly, part of a bigger plan. "Like I tried to explain to you, you cant sign everyone you want, so you need to plan and I think we did our planning knowing the kind of environment we were coming into and we tried to position ourselves so we had our core veterans and we could continue to sign the people we want to sign," Kraft stated. We very much think that Logan is among the best there is at his position. We drafted him and we want him here. "Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran