Mankins: Pats rookie Solder faces 'tough' situation in lockout

New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins might have issues with his contract situation, but he doesn't have any problem helping a rookie.

He told the Boston Herald on Monday that he has spoken with Nate Solder, the only offensive lineman taken by the Patriots with their first-round draft pick since Mankins in 2005.

"Yeah, I have spoken to Nate. He seems like a great guy," Mankins said at a golf tournament in Norton, Mass. "I gave him a little advice. Tried to help him out the best you can in the situation that we're in right now. I'm more than willing to help any young guy who needs anything.

"Look, he's in a tough situation right now. He doesn't know what's going on. He has no coaches to talk to (because of the NFL lockout). He's just trying to make it in this league."

The durable Solder played 2,540 out of a possible 2,542 plays for Colorado from his sophomore through senior seasons and was considered one of the premier left tackle prospects in the draft because his size, strength and athleticism.

The Patriotsused their franchise tag on Mankins in February, just before the lockout set in and after the three-time Pro Bowl pick missed over half of the 2010 season mired in a contract dispute with the team.

Mankins was a restricted free agent following the 2009 season, but he and the team couldn't agree on a contract. The six-year pro eventually signed a reduced tender offer in November and returned for the final nine regular-season games.

Mankins has never missed a start in an NFL game in which he was eligible to play.

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