Mankins accepts 5-year, $6.4M contract
Monday, July 25, 2005
ESPN.com news services

The Patriots became the first team to sign a first-round pick by reaching a five-year, $6.4 million deal with guard Logan Mankins, the 32nd pick in the 2005 draft.

Mankins reached agreement late Sunday night and signed the contract. Including a signing and option bonuses along with a $350,000 roster bonus this year, Mankins received $4 million in upfront guarantees.

The key to the agreement was getting the Patriots not to force a six-year contract on him. Last year, the Patriots signed tight end Daniel Graham, their first-round choice in 2004, to a six-year contract. His agent at the time, Tom Condon, refused to sign a contract that long for a pick that low in the first round and resigned as Graham's agent.

Graham didn't sign until Aug. 16, after an 18-day holdout. He played in the season opener, was inactive for the second game and was then placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Negotiations heated up Friday when Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, worked with the team to resolve the length of the contract. For the Patriots, it was important to get Mankins into camp on time because he is expected to be a starter as a rookie.

The 307-pound Mankins played at Fresno State, where he blocked for quarterback David Carr, now with the Houston Texans. Mankins, who started 40 games in four college seasons, did not allowing a sack in his final college season.

The Patriots rookies reported Sunday night. Mankins was in Foxboro and ready to sign the contract once it was completed.

His signing brings all seven of the team's 2005 draft choices under contract as the Super Bowl champions prepare for their first full-squad workout of training camp on Friday.

On Sunday, the Patriots signed undrafted rookie wide receiver Brandon "Bam" Childress and released rookie running back Earl Charles and first-year defensive tackle Demarco McNeil.