Mankins seems at peace with Patriots


Mankins seems at peace with Patriots

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran FOXBORO - Sense of humor? Dry. Delivery? Deadpan. Approach? Straight-shootin'.Logan Mankins met with media for the first time during Patriots camp on Thursday. It was the first chance for the team's franchised All-Pro to work out with the team (he had to wait for the CBA to be ratified and the 2011 league year to begin). Asked why he went ahead and signed the tender offer that pays him 10.1 million after going militant in 2010 when he was cuffed with an RFA tender that would have paid him around 3.5 million, Mankins answered, "Well, I figured I'm getting paid a lot of money this year, I might as well play the whole year."Incontrast to last summer, Mankins is open to playing a few more years in New England it seems. While indicating he won't talk business too often ("This year, I'm putting everything behind me and I'm gonna try to have a good year..."), Mankins answered this way when asked if he might sign long-term. "There's always a chance. I talked to the coaches and ownership we're all on the same page and we'll see what happens." Asked if he'd continue to negotiate a long-term deal into the season, Mankins replied, "I don't negotiate. I just play. I let my agent deal with that and whoever upstairs wants to do it." If the Patriots were to tag Mankins again after the season, they'd have to pay him 120 percent of this year's take. So, if they want him around, it would behoove them to get that done soon. The deadline for negotiating long-term deals with franchised players is September 20. "We'll see what happens," Mankins offered. "I understand more it's a business now than ever so we'll see what happens."
Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

NFL Draft picks No. 17-24: Texans, 'Skins, Vikings make run on WRs


NFL Draft picks No. 17-24: Texans, 'Skins, Vikings make run on WRs

No access at Gillette? No first-round pick unless the Patriots make a swap into the latter stages of the round? No problem. We're all over it from the palatial offices here in Burlington. We go pick-by-pick through the first round.

Lions: Taylor Decker, OT, OSU

Former Patriots personnel man Bob Quinn plucks a 6-foot-7, 310-pound mass of humanity and bad humor. The skinny on Decker is that he’s a Sebastian Vollmer-type according to He can play either tackle spot, strength, size and toughness are not an issue so it’s a low-risk selection which is a bright way to begin one’s GMing tenure.

Falcons: Keanu Neal, S, Florida

Following on the heels of Quinn, the Scott Pioli-Thomas Dimitroff grabbed a big-hitting safety who can play up in the box in run-support and also cover the tight ends and backs. Regarded as one of the best hitters in the draft.

Colts: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

Ryan Grigson could screw up a one-car funeral when it comes to the draft. But, knowing he couldn’t butcher yet another first-round pick, he must have had someone put in the sensible selection for him. Kelly won’t mess anything up. And he could be devastating if the Colts ever run that long-snapper and Griff Whelan play again. (I know. Whelan is a Dolphin now…)

Bills: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

The Bills add a 6-3, 269-pound edge rusher whose forte is ripping into backfields and will be a big personality for the Bills. Alongside Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes, Lawson steps right in to the vacancy left by the disinterested Mario Williams. Lawson is more of a strength rusher like Jabaal Sheard than a long angular guy like Chandler Jones.

Jets: Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State

Kind on an undersized linebacker but a tremendous athlete who can cover at the second level with his 4.47 speed. Also had the best vertical and broad jump at the Combine. He’s 6-1, 232 pounds and will probably need some help from his scheme to get the best out of him. The Jets outstanding defensive front could afford head coach Todd Bowles with the bodies to do that for Lee.

Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

Very fast, outstanding athlete, has hands like feet. Anyone that watched the BC-Notre Dame game at Fenway Park witnessed just how bad Fuller’s hands are. Taking him with LaQuon Treadwell on the board still seems a monumental misstep by head coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith.

Redskins: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

Washington somewhat reluctantly gave quarterback Kirk Cousins the franchise tag because they had no other options and wanted to see what he could do before anteing up huge for a long-term deal. At least he’s got a real good young weapon at his disposal to help him make his dough. A 6-1, 202-pounder with excellent hands and the ability to go and get the ball in the red zone, smart pick.

Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

A 6-2, 221-pounder who slid because of his 4.64 40 but is a physically dominant player because of the size, strength, smarts combo. Just a really, really strong player who works hard, blocks fiercely and goes to a good NFC team on the rise. You look at all the burners who get drafted in the 20s and flame out, taking a player like Treadwell who may be a half-step slow but can use his body to win is a smart play.

Bengals: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

Long corner who has very good ball skills and makeup speed. He’s not exceptionally strong so while he’s willing to be physical he gets jostled a little bit. In the AFC North, he’ll be fine against everyone but the Steelers who will give him all he can handle. The Senator says, “He’s better than Eli Apple, as far as I’m concerned.”

NFL Draft picks No. 1-8: Tunsil sliding after video of bong hit surfaces


NFL Draft picks No. 1-8: Tunsil sliding after video of bong hit surfaces

No access at Gillette? No first-round pick unless the Patriots make a swap into the latter stages of the round? No problem. We're all over it from the palatial offices here in Burlington. We go pick-by-pick through the first round.

Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

“Is there anything you’d like to translate to the fans of the Los Angeles Rams?!?!” Deion Sanders wheezed into the face of Goff moments after he was selected. Goff, who to that point had done little but shake his head and “golly-gee” then had something else to be befuddled by. Goff will, for the next few years, provide adequate cover for Jeff Fisher to continue stealing money as an NFL head coach. Fisher – who’s won 8, 6, 7, 7, 6 and 7 games in his past six seasons and hasn’t coached a playoff win since 2003 – did as he was told by the league office and milked the clock all the way down before making the selection everyone knew the Rams would make when they mortgaged the future to make a 2016 splash in their new city.

Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

“Now, the competition really begins,” Deion Sanders told to Carson Wentz. “Who’s gonna prepare their team to the playoffs first?” Wentz, who fits the quarterback suit so much better than Goff, had to be stunned that he not only had to lead his team to the playoffs on the field but also prepare them there as well. Now the Eagles have to assuage the feelings of a former No. 1 overall pick, Sam Bradford, who’s pissed that the Eagles were going to draft a quarterback. And Wentz has to look at Bradford and make sure he doesn’t end up like him.

Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

“You fillllllleddddd with emotions,” Deion Sanders told Joey Bosa. “Give me the feeling right now.” The feeling from Bosa was surprise. He said he thought he’d be cooling off for another half-hour or 45 minutes before being selected but the Chargers brought the first eye-widener of the night by selecting Bosa who Pro Football Focus had as their No. 1. The Chargers knew it all along and didn’t tip their hands.

Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

“This kid can bring them right into the playoffs!” proclaimed NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. Whoa, Mooch. Whoa. First off, it’s a playoff team to begin with if Tony Romo doesn’t crack his collarbone again. Second off, running behind that offensive line with an outside receiver like Dez Bryant and a tight end like Jason Witten on the field, you don’t necessarily need to burn the fourth overall pick on a running back. But the Cowboys love their splash factor and Elliott provides one.

Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

“You’re dancing,” Deion Sanders observed. “You’re exuding your swag. Are you happy right now?” Ramsey, the massive 6-1, 209-pound corner confirmed that he was. He also confirmed that he’s a shutdown corner. The Jaguars, as Senator Phil Perry noted as we watched the draft from our Burlington offices, are going to be good soon.

Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

“Folks,” said NFL Draft Analyst Mike Mayock, “he’s got 35 and three-quarter-inch arms.” Yes he does. And now he’s going to the Ravens where his physicality and toughness are going to enable Baltimore to plunk him down on Joe Flacco’s blind side and let him roll. Still doesn’t really address the issue of wide receiver talent aside from the ageless Steve Smith but what can you do. Stanley’s a good pick.

49ers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

It was between Buckner and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil at this point but just before the draft commenced, a video of Tunsil taking a bong hit while wearing a gas mask popped up on his Twitter feed. It was deleted and a hacking was blamed. And Buckner likely became the beneficiary of the Tunsil fiasco. My suspicion is Tonya Harding was behind it.

Titans: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

The Titans made a deal with the Rams, sending them the 15th overall pick to move up and get former walk-on Conklin. The Browns got the 15th overall pick in return and a third-rounder as well. And the Laremy Tunsil debacle rolls on as reports that the Ravens took Tunsil off their draft board when the video popped up. .

NFL Draft picks No. 9-16: Dolphins stop Tunsil's slide at No. 13


NFL Draft picks No. 9-16: Dolphins stop Tunsil's slide at No. 13

No access at Gillette? No first-round pick unless the Patriots make a swap into the latter stages of the round? No problem. We're all over it from the palatial offices here in Burlington. We go pick-by-pick through the first round.

Bears: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

The Bears traded up from the No. 11 slot to go and get the pass-rusher they coveted, dealing with the Buccaneers to leap-frog the Giants. Could the Bears have used a tackle? Potentially. But after a video of Laremy Tunsil smoking while wearing a gas mask surfaced online, he has fallen down draft boards. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the video could be as many as five years old.  

Giants: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

Like Joey Bosa to the Chargers, this was one of those did-not-see-that-coming moves. Apple is an athletic corner with good size, but his college tape left him more open to criticism than some of his peers at the position. Again, a tackle could have been in play. Maybe a receiver. Instead the Giants went with a corner who many ranked behind Flordia corner Vernon Hargreaves, Clemson corner Mackensie Alexander, and Houston cover man William Jackson III. 

Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

The Buccaneers played this well. They could have taken Hargreaves at No. 9, but they traded out, added draft capital, and still got their man. Hargreaves may be a bit undersized to play some of the bigger No. 1 receivers at the next level, but his footwork is pristine, and he has a knack for making plays on the football. 

Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

The Saints desperately needed to add to their defense after putting together one of the weakest units in the league last season. Rankins is a ready-made interior lineman who can play multiple different spots along the New Orleans front. At 6-foot-1, 299 pounds, he's smaller than the prototypical defensive tackle but he'll be stout against the run and pressure opposing quarterbacks on third downs. 

Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

The Tunsil slide finally came to a stop at No. 13. At first blush, this doesn't seem like great news for the Patriots. Bill Belichick's defense will now face a player that many considered the No. 1 prospect in the draft twice a year. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder was asked by Deion Sanders immediately after the pick was made what in God's name happened with his Twitter account. "It's a crazy world," Tunsil said. "Things happen for a reason." Sanders asked if it was his step-father who hacked the account. Tunsil's step-father filed suit against Tunsil on Wednesday after a domestic incident. "I don't know who it was," Tunsil said.

Raiders: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

The Raiders went after their Charles Woodson replacement early. Considered to be more of a bottom-of-the-first-round selection, Joseph is a heat-seeking missile who just plain destroys ball-carriers. He has good insticts and ball skills and should be able to play as a single-high safety or a box safey. Joseph is coming off of a season-ending knee injury, but his medicals must have checked out with Raiders brass. 

Browns: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Coleman didn't run the most varied route tree in college, but he's an explosive athlete and a relentless competitor. He'll give quarterback Robert Griffin III a pro-ready down-the-field threat. And they need one. Badly.