Mankins signs six-year deal with Patriots

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Mankins signs six-year deal with Patriots

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

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.

Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed. Time for a rematch!'

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Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed. Time for a rematch!'

When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening. 

On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.

Talk about intimidation.

Wilfork embracing modeling, tells Brady to put him in touch with Gisele's people

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Wilfork embracing modeling, tells Brady to put him in touch with Gisele's people

Vince Wilfork will be one of many well-known athletes to strip down and pose nude for photographs in ESPN The Magazine's's Body issue, joining a group that includes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta, Broncos defensive end Von Miller and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Judging by his latest tweet, the former Patriots defensive lineman -- who is listed at 325 pounds -- is getting pretty comfortable with the idea of becoming a model.

Now it's up to Tom Brady to play match-maker, it seems. Gisele retired from the runway last year so maybe her people are on the lookout for some new talent.

Belichick: Buddy Ryan a father to 'a great football family'

Belichick: Buddy Ryan a father to 'a great football family'

Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon. 

"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."

Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.

Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.

Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there. 

For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."