Patriots Trade Logan Mankins to Buccaneers for Tight End
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the deal Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, ESPN reports that the Patriots will receive a fourth-round draft pick in 2015 as a part of the trade.
Mankins was one of the longest-tenured players on the Patriots roster, serving his entire nine-year career with the team. While one of the most consistent linemen on the team, the Patriots have been searching for a good pass-catching tight end to pair with Rob Gronkowski. The move also gives the team much needed depth at the position, as Gronkowski has missed 14 games in the past two seasons.
Wright - who is in his second year in the NFL – is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound player who fits the pass-catching mold the Patriots are looking for. In his rookie season, Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards with five touchdowns, three of which came in the final four games of the season.
The move will also reportedly save the Patriots $13.25 million within the next two seasons, opening up $5.755 million in salary cap space for this season.
Related Slideshow: Patriots to Watch: Training Camp 2014
TE Rob Gronkowski
"He's been cleared to play." Five words that uttered by Bill Belichick on Wednesday that brought smiles to the faces of Patriots fans everywhere. That is because Belichick was giving an update on Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski is recovering from an ACL tear late in 2013 and is ready for the start of Training Camp. The question with Gronkowski is simple - Can he be Gronk? The record-setting tight end. Or is he simply Rob Gronkowski? The oft-injured tight end.
OLB Jamie Collins
The lasting image of Collins is his dominant performance in the Divisional Round of the 2013 NFL Playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts. Collins finished with six tackles, a sack and an interception.
Now Collins will be starting at linebacker in 2014. After having most of 2013 be essentially a Red Shirt season, Collins will have to prove he can be a complete linebacker for 16-plus games.
Also, if for no other reason, Collins is an extremely exciting athlete. His athletic ability allows him to do things on the football field many fans have not seen from a Patriots linebacker in a long time, if ever.
RB Shane Vereen
Vereen is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is in desperate need of completing a full season without injury.
Vereen has shown a great deal of promise when he is healthy and on the field, but his injury history constantly derails that. Vereen is quick, shifty and has great hands. He is a complete weapon that should be one of Tom Brady's favorite weapons in 2014.
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
Tompkins was a key piece to the Patriots' offense in 2013. He faded late in the year, leaving many to believe he would be a potential roster cut going into 2014.
Tompkins has turned that into motivation, turning heads in OTA's. He struggled, at times, to get on the same page as Tom Brady in 2013 and also struggled to consistently perform. His ceiling is very high, but can Tompkins realize his potential in 2014?
OT Sebastian Vollmer
Vollmer suffered a broken leg in 2013, ending his season. He will be returning and likely reassume his role at the starting right tackle. Keeping an eye on Vollmer's mobility will be key.
The offensive line, as a unit, is also a group to keep an eye on as they move on from the Dante Scarnecchia era and into the Dave DeGuglielmo era.
LB Jerod Mayo
Mayo is another player coming off an injury in 2013. His pectoral injury ended his season early and he will be looking to make a big comeback in 2014.
There is also potential that Mayo could be moving to an inside linebacker role, as seen in OTA's. With a linebacker core of Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Mayo, the veteran presence of Mayo will be the key to a successful season for the linebackers.
DE Chandler Jones
Can Chandler Jones take that next step in his development? He improved on his rookie season by collecting 11.5 sacks in 2013. Now the Patriots will look for continued improvement in 2014.
Jones will be competing against two very good tackles, Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, in Training Camp. This will let fans see how he has improved and if he has made another step towards being a dominant defensive player.
DT Vince Wilfork
As of Wednesday night, Wilfork has not been placed on the PUP list. This is surprising to some as Wilfork continues to recover from a torn achilles in 2013. How will Wilfork's body react to his return to the field? Can he be a run stuffing defensive lineman again? That should be seen very early in Training Camp.
CB Darrelle Revis
Darrelle Revis was the single biggest addition of the NFL offseason. The former Jets and Buccaneers cornerback signed in New England on a contract that is essentially for one season (2nd-year option for $25 million). Can he lead New England to a Super Bowl title?
Revis is over a full year removed from ACL surgery, and should be back to his elite, dominant form.
QB Tom Brady
It is obvious that Tom Brady is the person to watch in Training Camp. Brady is one of the top quarterbacks of all time and is a fiery competitor. Watching Brady practice is an experience that few fans get to experience, and should be taken advantage of before the quarterbacks career winds down.
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