By Phil Perry
When Robert Kraft told media members that Logan Mankins was close to signing a long-term deal with the Patriots, he didn't say just how close.
Just a few hours after Kraft spoke, ESPN reported that Mankins had signed a six-year contract with New England. CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran confirmed the deal.
"It's our desire and it's always been our desire to sign him," Kraft said before the new deal was reported. "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."
Kraft also said on Wednesday that Mankins was close to being a "Patriot for life." If the deal were to begin immediately -- which would make sense because it would reduce Mankins' 10.1 million dollar cap hit -- Mankins would be 35 years old at the end of the deal.
Unless the Pro Bowl guard plans on hanging up his cleats in his mid-30s to raise cattle (a legitimate possibility), the deal probably won't take him to retirement. But it appears as though both he and the Patriots are plenty happy to have him in New England for the next six years.