Mankins analysis: Both sides win

When Logan Mankins decided to sign his franchise tender and report to training camp on time this year, his agent called it a "fresh start."

That fresh start was one of the first steps toward producing Wednesday's bombshell news that Mankins and the Patriots have agreed to a six-year deal that was first reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

It's a win-win situation.

As noted when Mankins reported to camp on time, this was the time to strike an extension because it benefited both sides.

Under the franchise tag, Mankins had a $10.1 million salary-cap charge. He and Tom Brady accounted for just shy of 20 percent of the team's cap space.

For a team that prides itself on a strong middle class of the roster, this didn't make much sense for the Patriots. So the motivation to work with Mankins on an extension was there, because it could provide more cap space while also securing the Patriots' best linemen long-term.

One lingering issue was whether the Patriots would be willing to do so because of past public comments made by Mankins and his agent, Frank Bauer. To the team's credit, it overlooked them to strike the deal.

As for Mankins, he gets the long-term security and respect he desired. Although a one-year, $10.1 million contract was a solid pay day, it led him to assume the risk of making it through the season healthy so he could reach unrestricted free agency in 2012.

Now that risk is eliminated, and Mankins knows he'll be banking more than just the $10.1 million.

So even without knowing the full details of terms, this is a case in which both sides get what they want. Common sense prevails.