According to NFL Network, current Buccaneers guard and former Patriots captain Logan Mankins has decided to retire after 11 NFL seasons.
Mankins was a New England first-round pick out of Fresno State in 2005, his first of nine seasons with the Patriots. A left tackle in college, Mankins immediately took over as a physical presence and leader at left guard in Foxborough, starting all 16 games in each of his first five seasons.
Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached.
Mankins earned Pro Bowl honors six times in New England (2007, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13) before surprisingly being traded to Tampa Bay just before the 2014 season. A 2010 All-Pro, Mankins earned second-team honors five times in New England. Mankins also earned a trip to the Pro Bowl this season in Tampa Bay, meaning February's NFL all-star game will be the final contest he ever plays.
In anouncing the trade to Tampa Bay -- the Patriots getting tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick in return -- Bill Belichick issued the following statement regarding Mankins' tenure in New England:
"Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made - and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make - but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team."
Former Patriots Guard Logan Mankins announced his retirement from the NFL. We take a look back at his career with New England (2005 - 2013) with some of our favorite photos.
As physical, talented and athletic as Mankins was on the field as the foundation of the Patriots offensive line, he was equally as important off the field. Mankins was an honest leader and spokesman for the group. Whether coming off a dominant win or a tough loss in which he may not have played well, the New England captain was always a stand-up professional.
Mankins' toughness may be best summed up with the fact that he played the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL suffered on opening day, earning Pro Bowl honors that fall.
Maybe Mankins' only disappointment in New England was that he never won a Super Bowl with the team, arriving a year after its 2004 title and being traded away on the eve of the 2014 title campaign.