By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Speaking with a group of reporters at Foxboro Stadium on Wednesday, Robert Kraft indicated that a long-term deal for Logan Mankins could come soon, making the offensive lineman a "Patriot for life."While praising the team's pre and post-lockout strategy of signing core players and then feasting on "seasoned veterans" during this period, Kraft said, "Probably you'll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon hopefully to be a Patriot for life."Mankins signed his franchise tender and actually arrived to camp on time this year, which was a change from last season when he waited until November to report and played in the Pats' final nine games of the season.
As a franchised offensive lineman, Mankins will make 10.1 million this year, fully guaranteed.
If the Patriots do, in fact, come to a long-term deal with Mankins soon, they could lessen his salary-cap hit. They'll need to work quickly though -- and judging by Kraft's comments, they are -- because if a new deal is not signed by Sept. 20, the Pats and Mankins cannot resume talks of a new deal until after the season.Will it get done? "If I have a vote it will get done but the other side's got to want it to," Kraft said, perhaps signaling a minor retreat from the optimism his first statement caused. "It's our desire and it's always been our desire (to sign him)," he added. "But, like I tried to explain to you, you can't sign everyone you want so you need to plan. 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. We very much think Logan is among the best at his position and we want him here."Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran