Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins (70) during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots' Bill Belichick: Logan Mankins is 'best guard I ever coached'

Bill Belichick signed off on sending Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick. Many thought that an All-Pro guard like Mankins might go for a taller order, and judging from the way Bill Belichick speaks about the veteran, it’s hard to understand why he traded Mankins.

“Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached,” Belichick said, via CBS Local.

“Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.”

Belichick places trust on the rest of his interior linemen. Like he’s done with many veterans before, he seems to be selling high on a player before what he expects to be a precipitous fall. In the case of Wes Welker, he seemed to pull the trigger early. In the case of Richard Seymor, the timing was near perfect.

The Bucs were in desperate need of interior linemen. They even called Richie Incognito for a visit. And from a pure football perspective, signing him on top of this trade could be a huge turnaround for the team. My guess is that they’re done with interior line work, however. Instead of resorting to Incognito — whose character is tarnished following the bullying scandal with the Miami Dolphins — they ended up with a standup character in Mankins.

Tags: Logan Mankins New England Patriots

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