Belichick touches on Mankins' absence

ORLANDO – Two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins is staying away from voluntary offseason workouts because of dissatisfaction with his contract status, a situation that coach Bill Belichick addressed this morning.

“I’ve spoken with Logan a couple times and we’ll leave those conversations privately,” Belichick said. “Logan is a good player. He’s done a good job for us. I’m sure it will all get worked out in the end.”

The Patriots have re-signed four unrestricted free agents since free agency began March 5, in addition to reaching a new contract with nose tackle Vince Wilfork. During the season, they struck extensions with linebacker Rob Ninkovich, receiver Sam Aiken, linebacker Eric Alexander, and offensive linemen Dan Connolly, Nick Kaczur and Mark LeVoir.

Asked if keeping all players happy with their contract status was one of the toughest parts of the job, Belichick said: “That’s the NFL. That’s one of the challenges.”