Bruschi: Patriots must pay Mankins

Mankins Missing At OTAs (0:37)

ESPN's Tedy Bruschi on Logan Mankins not at Patriots OTAs. (0:37)

ESPN's Tedy Bruschi gives his take on the contract dispute keeping two-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins from attending this week's voluntary workouts.

Bruschi calls Mankins the Patriots' best offensive lineman and mentions the implications of Mankins' absence in the same breath as injured receiver Wes Welker.

"How will the offense adjust without Mankins?" Bruschi asks. "If they don't have him, they will not be able to protect Tom Brady and that running game will not function. This is a player that needs that contract, deserves that contract. That should be done. I don't blame him for holding out of camp."

Last week, I examined Mankins' frustrating situation with the help of National Football Post president Andrew Brandt, a former Green Bay Packers executive who handled contracts and the salary cap.

Mankins was supposed to be an unrestricted free agent but was one of the 212 players affected by rules for the uncapped season. He instead became classified as a restricted free agent and unable to control his fate.