BOSTON (CBS) — Logan Mankins’ locker was still intact in the New England Patriots locker room Tuesday afternoon, as his now former teammates reflected on his nine-plus years with the team.
In a fairly shocking move on Tuesday, Mankins was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick. A six-time Pro Bowler and three-time captain, Mankins was one of the most respected players on the team.
Many of the Patriots learned about the trade while on the practice field, while others found out in the locker room. One thing was consistent though: Nearly everyone was shocked that Mankins was no longer on the team.
“Man, what an awesome guy. What an awesome player. So honored to play with that guy. So honored to get to know him and his family,” said New England left tackle Nate Solder. “I can’t say enough good things about him. Him and his family, he has great morals, great ethics, a great work ethic. He’s a tremendous guy and is going to be great wherever he goes.”
Tom Brady will miss the protection Mankins provided on the line, but every member of the team will miss the leadership he brought both on the field and in the locker room — both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
“I think we’ll definitely have to be very mentally tough during this time, because Logan brought a lot in the department of leadership, a lot in the department in toughness. He brought a lot in a lot of departments,” said special teams captain Matthew Slater. “So we have to be mentally tough. We have to understand that Coach Belichick is always going to do what he thinks is best for the football team, and we just have to be resilient and move forward and there’s still a job to be done. That’s what we’re here to do.”
“Since I’ve been here, he’s a guy you look up to, and I’m a defensive back and that’s watching the offensive line,” said safety Devin McCourty. “Tampa is going to get one helluva player, and guy.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman talked about how much Mankins helped him on the field, and his approach to the game.
“Personally and individually, you just have to go out there and do what you can to contribute to the team and learn from guys like that, how they prepared for day-to-day life in the NFL, coming out and preparing the way he did, not saying a word, playing with a toughness and being the ultimate team guy,” said Edelman. “It’s tough and we’re all humans and we all build relationship and there’s a business aspect to the game.”
Patriots Players React To Mankins Trade:
But they all also understand that this game they play is a business, and Bill Belichick’s latest move is just another example that anything can happen.
“We all have feelings and it is what it is,” said Edelman. “It went down and I wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
“For the Patriots, we move on, as sad as that is,” said Solder. “It’s exciting, too, we move on to the thrills of the season.”
MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON
- Bill Belichick Draws Similarities Between Sunday’s Patriots Win Over Steelers To Super Bowl XLIX
- It Never Gets Old With Belichick And Brady, And Leftover Patriots Thoughts
- Patriots Team Grades: Huge Rally, Overturned TD, And Late Interception Seal Win Over Steelers
- Gronkowski, Patriots Ride Wild Roller Coaster In Pittsburgh