Bucs trade for Pro Bowl guard Mankins
TAMPA -- One day after courting former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, the Bucs went in a different direction, making an even larger move to trade for Logan Mankins, a six-time Pro Bowl guard with the New England Patriots.
"We're very excited to acquire a player like Logan," said general manager Jason Licht, who worked in the Patriots' front office from 2009-11. "We feel very fortunate. Logan is a very good player. (I'm a) first-hand witness to what he means in the locker room as well. His play on the field speaks for itself."
To land Mankins, 32, who has been to the Pro Bowl five years in a row, the Bucs gave up second-year tight end Tim Wright and an undisclosed draft pick, reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter as a 2015 fourth-round pick. Offensive guard has been a major concern entering the season, and Mankins likely steps in at left guard as a fourth new starter on the offensive line.
"He's a great person, is going to be great for this locker room," Licht said.
The addition of Mankins likely puts the urgency to sign Incognito on the back burner -- Licht insisted the door was still open, but when asked about Mankins' age, he said "He's 32. Richie was 31."
Wright caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns last year as an undrafted rookie from Rutgers. He had fallen on the depth chart, however, as the Bucs added rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins and free-agent signee Brandon Myers, and veteran Luke Stocker has returned healthy after missing last season with injury.
"It tells you we feel very good about the three tight ends we have on our roster," Licht said. "It speaks about that. We think Tim is a very good football player. Came in, caught 54 balls, that's a pretty remarkable feat. We feel the return we got on the investment obviously worked in our favor. They probably feel they got a pretty good deal, too."
Mankins becomes the Bucs' highest-paid offensive lineman, with three years remaining on a six-year deal he signed in 2011. He's due to make $6.25 million this fall (just ahead of left tackle Anthony Collins) and $7 million each in 2015 and 2016. As for any dropoff in his play, Mankins gave up 10 sacks individually last season, after allowing nine total in 34 games from 2010-12, according to Masslive.com.
Licht isn't the only Bucs executive with strong Patriots ties -- his No. 2, director of player personnel Jon Robinson, was with New England from 2002-13, covering all of Mankins' nine NFL seasons. The trade was first reported by Jay Glazer of Foxsports.com.