BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots pulled off a shocking trade on Tuesday, sending guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a future draft pick.

Mankins, a leader on the offensive line and in the locker room, will certainly be missed in New England after spending nine-plus years keeping Tom Brady upright. Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning to discuss the trade, and said Mankins’ presence will be greatly missed on the field.

“It hurts them on the offensive line, no question,” said Howe. “Mankins wasn’t the same guy from three or four years ago, but 75 percent of Mankins is better than 95 percent of the guards in the league, in my opinion. They’re scrambling already at center and right guard and I think in order to make up or that, you have to give Tom Brady the two veterans back at those two positions. You put (Ryan) Wendell at center and (Dan) Connolly at right guard, or Connolly at left guard and put someone else on the other side.

“They already moved on from [offensive line coach Dante] Scarnecchia, now they take the three-time captain away; you want a veteran presence there in front of Brady,” added Howe. “Yeah, you save some cap money, but what is that worth if you can’t keep Brady upright?”

In trading away Mankins the Patriots save over $6 million this season, and those funds could be used to re-sign Darrelle Revis in the offseason.

“This was a salary-motivated move,” said Howe. “The one variable with the new CBA is that any unused cap space can be carried over into the next year. Starting yesterday morning the Patriots had $7.5 million in free cap space. They saved 6.25 this season by trading Mankins, so add that and they’re close to $14 million free. Assume $4 million goes to roster bonuses not likely to be earned and stuff like that, so they have $10 million in cap space. If they don’t use that, it can carry over into next season.

“That’s how it could help in a Revis-type situation,” explained Howe. “The way his contact is constituted, it would be more surprising if they extended him now instead of cutting him/not picking up his option at the end of the season and negotiating something afterwards. I think that’s where that money could play in.”

Howe also touched on the addition of James Wright to the offense:



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