BOSTON (CBS) – Patriots fans were, and likely still are shocked by the news of the team trading Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay Tuesday afternoon.
In return for Mankins, the Patriots received a 2015 fourth round pick and tight end Tim Wright, who fans were not shocked to find out he played his college days at Rutgers, and briefly in the pros, with head coach Greg Schiano.
There’s been a lot of Scarlet Knights to come through Foxboro in recent years, as Belichick and Schiano started to develop a relationship when Bill’s son Steve walked on to the Rutgers football team as a long snapper in 2011.
Belichick clearly places a high value on his relationships with those in the college ranks, most notably Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Kirk Ferentz and even Chip Kelly** before he took over in Philadelphia.
But those seem to pale in comparison with Rutgers players.
Whether through the draft, free agency or trade, Belichick has been rolling out the red carpet for the Scarlet Knights of late.
Here are 11 Patriots, both past and present, to have once played for Rutgers:
Tim Wright, tight end
Tim, we haven’t gotten the chance to meet you yet, but here’s what you need to know: Logan Mankins was a fan favorite, and your quarterback doesn’t tolerate missed assignments and/or dropped passes.
So get up to speed soon, because it could be over before it even started.
Notable moment: There are none, yet.
Devin McCourty, safety
Without question the best Rutgers player in Patriots history. He’s played corner, safety and has even returned kicks. Two-time All Pro player on the field and a great member of the community off the field.
Notable moment: Too many to count.
Tiquan Underwood, wide receiver
Underwood was never really a fit in his one year with the Patriots. He had three receptions for 30 yards and was cut the night before Super Bowl XLVI.
Notable moment: Successfully made the hi-top fade cool again.
Alex Silvestro, defensive end
The Patriots signed Silvestro as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He actually replaced his fellow Scarlet Knight brethren Tiquan Underwood on the Super Bowl roster.
Notable moment: I got nothing.
Logan Ryan, cornerback
Logan Ryan was the Pats’ third round pick (83rd overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Notable moment: Interception return for a touchdown against the Jets in Week 7 last year.
Duron Harmon, safety
Eight picks after Logan Ryan, the Patriots selected Duron Harmon (91st overall) in 2013.
Notable moment: Picked off Big Ben Roethlisberger and made a nice return to boot.
Steve Beauharnais, linebacker
Later on in the 2013 Draft the Patriots grabbed Rutgers linebacker Steve Beauharnais in the 7th round, at which point Patriots fans were like, “Alright. Enough already with the Rutgers guys!”
Notable moment: Again, I got nothing.
Justin Francis, defensive end
Played in 10 games for the Patriots in 2012 and registered three sacks with nine total tackles.
Notable moment: Flipped off the NFL Network. No, really. It’s true.
Kevin Haslam, offensive tackle
Haslam was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots on May 23, 2013, and not even three months later was let go on August 15th.
Notable moment: None
Mark Harrison, wide receiver
Signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in May 2013, then placed on injured reserve/non-football injury list on August 26, 2013.
Notable moment: Released by the team in early June 2014 after being late to OTAs.
Brandon Jones, cornerback
Another undrafted player, Jones was signed following the 2013 draft.
Notable moment: Didn’t stick around long enough to have one.
**It’s worth pointing out that LeGarrette Blount (Oregon and Tampa Bay) is both a Chip Kelly and Greg Schiano guy. . . a two-fer!
MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON
- NFLPA President: NFL ‘Cannot Be Trusted To Do The Right Thing’ To Protect Players
- McCann: ‘Likelihood Is That Tom Brady Won’t Be Playing In Week 1’
- Report: NFL Improperly Tried To Influence Government Concussion Research, Forcing Public To Pay
- Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan Ranked Among 50 ‘Most Fit’ Athletes