The New Patriots hit the practice field with the start of the team’s mandatory veteran’s mini-camp at Gillette Stadium, to be held June 15 – 17. Notably absent from the camp was Pro Bowl guard, Logan Mankins, who demanded a trade by the organization this week. Negotiations are always top secret in the Patriot organization, so it’s unclear just what Mankins is looking for, but he apparently wasn’t happy with the rumored $7 million offer the Patriots submitted. With Mankins declining the offer that was made to him, and refusing to sign his Restricted Free Agent (RFA) tender of $3.268 million, the Patriots reduced the RFA tender to $1.54 million. Things are not looking good on the Mankins front so far, and things are just getting ugly. No need to worry though. The Patriots have some very able backups ready and able to jump in and take over where needed on the offensive line. If Mankins doesn’t want to play then someone else will.
Wes Welker is progressing nicely with his rehab, but there is still no word as to when he will be fully ready to return to the field. He’s feeling good. He’s been able to go through some drills on the field with his teammates and while he won’t say anything to allude to his progress, it’s looking like he might be ahead of schedule with his ACL rehab. I think we can expect to see him on the field when the season starts.
Ty Warren is back in town for practice sessions for the first time this season after returning from Texas. Warren hasn’t been slacking this season, but finishing up his degree from Texas A&M.
Despite what the media is saying about Tom Brady and the Patriots being at odds with contract negotiations, he’s in town and practicing with the team now. The Patriots understand that Brady has a family, like other players on the team, and that his commitment is no less than it was when he was young and single. Unlike Logan Mankins, Things will get worked out between the two sides. There is no question about that. Brady was coming off of a serious knee injury last year and this is his year to prove that he is over the hump and over the injury. There is no doubt he will bring it this year. I think the offense will click again this season.
It’s only mini-camp, though. There is still more to look forward to next month when teams report for full training camp. Players are still being signed at this point and contracts are still being worked out. I look forward to claiming the top spot in the AFC East again this season, though. The Dolphins, Bills, and Jets can all flip flop for the final spot in the division. I am almost ready to give it to the Jets because Darrelle Revis’s ego is going to cause more problems down the road, and that team is already chock full of egos as it. Take a bunch of egos, a mediocre quarterback, and a blow hard coach and you get the bottom of the bunch. It’s pretty sad when the Bills are destined to finish ahead of you.