Logan Mankins' refusal to take pay cut led to trade

On Wednesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport gave us a peek behind the curtain, detailing how the trade went down, according to sources involved in the deal.

During the offseason the Patriots asked Mankins -- who was due to count $10.5 million against the team's cap in 2014 and $11 million in 2015 -- to take a pay cut. The veteran refused (as we'd expect) and the Pats made him available.

The Bucs, who have had a terrible time revamping their offensive line, originally began the dialogue by calling New England about a Patriots backup guard. During the discussion, the Patriots expressed interest in tight end Tim Wright.

As talks progressed, the Patriots asked the Bucs' brass, "How about Mankins?" per Rapoport.

The Bucs had prior knowledge and experience with Mankins from player personnel director Jon Robinson and general manager Jason Licht, who both spent years with the Patriots.

In the end Licht put a deal together to ship a tight end -- who could have gotten buried on the depth chart as the season went on -- and a fourth-round pick for a veteran offensive lineman he desperately needed.

In return the Patriots got cap relief, a good move-tight end and a draft pick for a player Bill Belichick called "one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached."

As Rapoport pointed out, the Mankins trade is reminiscent of other moves the Patriots have made in the past -- including cutting Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy in 2003 when he wouldn't take a pay cut.

For the Patriots, it's always just business.

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