A day after the Buccaneers met with free-agent Richie Incognito in an effort to bolster their line, the Bucs opted to go one step farther.
According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Bucs have agreed to the parameters of a deal that will bring Logan Mankins from the Patriots. In return, New England gets tight end Tim Wright and an undisclosed draft pick.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Mankins joined the Patriots via round one of the 2005 draft. Signed through 2016, Mankins is due to earn a base salary of $6.25 million in 2014, $6.75 million in 2015, and $6.75 million in his final season.
He’ll count $4 million against the Patriots’ salary cap in 2014, and another $4 million in 2015, based on the $20 million signing bonus he received in 2011.
The structure fits Tampa’s pay-as-you go preference. More importantly, it gives them a guy who can step right in at left guard.
The move shows that coach Lovie Smith and G.M. Jason Licht don’t view 2014 as a scholarship year. They are trying to win now, and with Mankins the chances of that happening have increased.