When the Patriots didn’t re-sign receiver Wes Welker in the aftermath of quarterback Tom Brady’s team-friendly deal (with a paltry $30 million to sign), someone close to Brady reportedly was enraged. This time around, with left guard Logan Mankins abruptly traded to the Buccaneers fewer than two weeks before the start of the regular season, Brady reportedly is “very upset.”
Indeed Brady is, per a source familiar with Brady’s thinking on the topic.
While Mankins arrived after the Patriots won their third Super Bowl title, he had become one of the most important veterans on the team. His departure makes the offensive line a little bit worse, which in turn puts a little more pressure on Brady to make it all work.
The trade arose in part from a reported unwillingness of Mankins to take a pay cut. Mankins’ refusal, as one source has speculated, possibly traces at least in part to contentious contract negotiations between the Patriots and Mankins in 2010 and 2011, which at one point included Mankins making comments about owner Robert Kraft’s integrity and the team reportedly conditioning a new contract on a public apology, which never was made.
While “The Patriot Way” routinely includes moving on from key players a year too early in lieu of doing so a year too late, a few players get the benefit of doubt. Mankins didn’t.
Brady eventually may — unless he makes too big of a stink about key players like Mankins being dumped.