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Bucs coach Lovie Smith wants Logan Mankins back, and he'll tell him so

TAMPA, Fla. -- Following Sunday's regular-season finale against the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers left guard Logan Mankins said he was going to take some time before deciding his next move. Mankins just completed his 11th NFL season and hinted that he could retire.

Head coach Lovie Smith said Monday he is going to do best college recruiter impression and try to talk Mankins, a five-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection, to return for another season with the team.

"We have some players that have played a long time, some that are in the fourth quarter of their career, but that had outstanding seasons for us," Smith said. "[Right tackle] Gosder Cherilus, Logan Mankins -- you don't retire on the type of years they had."

Mankins, who just completed his second year with the Bucs, was voted an offensive captain prior to the season. He helped mold an offensive line that started two rookies into a unit that paved the way for Doug Martin and protected rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. Martin ran for 1,402 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl. Winston became just the third rookie in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards.

Mankins, who will turn 34 in March, was rewarded by being named a Pro Bowl alternate.

But the decision about his future isn't simple. His wife and four children don't stay with Mankins during the football season, which weighs on him. With bonuses, Mankins is scheduled to make $7 million in 2016, but he said he is going to consider his options.

"I don't know," he told the Tampa Bay Times after Sunday's game. "I am at the point in my career where I'm going to take a little time and evaluate what I want to do with my family, with myself and my career and see where it goes."

Smith said he is going to do his part in trying to convince Mankins to return for a 12th season and continue to help mentor young linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet.

"Part of my job is to recruit players that I think can help us win football games," Smith said Monday. "You normally don't retire on the type of year Logan had. You retire when you can't play football anymore. That's not the case with Logan. I thought he had an outstanding season. Do I get involved in recruiting guys like that? Yes I do."