By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

FOXBORO (CBS) — After nine seasons on the New England offensive line, Logan Mankins is now heading to Tampa.

The Patriots traded the six-time Pro Bowler to the Buccaneers on Tuesday for Tim Wright, a tight end no one really knows, and a future fourth-round pick.

Here are some thoughts on the trade:

– Bringing in a tight end could tell us more about the status of Rob Gronkowski. Maybe Gronk is not as close as the Pats would like him to be in his recovery. Rumor had it that Wright was going to be cut by Tampa. He had 54 catches and five touchdowns last season as an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers. But now you’re asking him to step into a team with a tough offense to learn.

– If Wright gets here and gets cut, this was purely a money move. The Pats owed a large sum to Mankins, and by trading him they save $6.25 million this year and $7 million next year.

– This has an impact on running back Stevan Ridley, as Mankins was always a solid run blocker here. The Pats used Shane Vereen as their feature back against the Panthers on Friday night, and Vereen can do more out of the backfield than Ridley. If the Patriots plan on running the ball less this season, then the need for a feature back like Ridley becomes a non-issue. Since they parted ways with a run blocker in Mankins, don’t be surprised if Ridley is the next to go.

– Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis, Shane Vereen and (maybe) Stephen Gostkowski are now the Patriots’ untouchables. Then again, is there such a thing on this team?

Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.



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