By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins talked to the media after Sunday's practice, marking the first time he spoke since signing his new six-year contract with the team.
Needless to say, he was all smiles.
@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: SectioIts great. Im really happy I know Im staying here forhopefully the rest of my career, said Mankins. I just want to thank theKrafts and their family, coach Belichick, and the guys upstairs. Im glad thisis done with, and Im very happy.
Im happy with it. Im ecstatic. This doesnt feel realyet, so I dont know how to take it yet. But Im very happy to be here.
Mankins said he wasn't involved in any of the negotiations, and "had no idea" that anything was happening until he got the call when it was done.
While glad that he no longer has to worry about a new contract, Mankins is determined to prove to the Patriots that he's worth all the money.
Thats one of the things I told my wife," said Mankins. "I was like, now Ihave to make sure I earn it. I dont want to be one of those guys that shows upto collect his check, or one of those guys that gets hurt every year. Sohopefully I can stay healthy and give my best effort.
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Alan Branch has been reinstated by the Patriots after the team suspended him prior to last week's preseason game with the Bears, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran.
When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Branch's absence last week, he replied, "It's a club matter."
What got Branch suspended by the team is still unknown, but he is expected to be a contributing player on the interior of the Patriots defensive line in 2016. He started in 17 games last season, including both playoff games, often lining up alongside fellow defensive tackle Malcom Brown.
Through training camp the Patriots have also used Terrance Knighton, Vincent Valentine, Anthony Johnson and Joe Vellano on the interior of their defensive front. Branch, however, has consistently been used with the team's first defensive grouping. It's unclear how a week away from the team might impact his spot on the depth chart.
Field Yates of ESPN was the first to report the news that Branch had been reinstated.
Tom Brady traveled with the Patriots to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, ahead of the third preseason game Friday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald was first to report the news.
There’s no word on if Brady will play. He missed the opener against the Saints and, after cutting his thumb with scissors, missed the second exhibition game last Thursday against the Bears, both at Gillette Stadium.
Brady, of course, will miss the first four games of the regular season serving his NFL-imposed Deflategate suspension.
The Dallas Cowboys have a “Do Your Job” sign posted in their locker room and “Gronk Nation” isn’t happy about it.
Here’s an excerpt from “Gronk Nation” - the website of Rob Gronkowski and his family - about “America’s Team” co-opting the slogan of the 2014 Patriots' Super Bowl run:
While we all know that the Pats thrashed the Cowboys 30-6 last October and Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season, so they need all the motivation they can get – but can’t America’s Team come up with their own slogan instead of stealing ours?