Mankins has not agreed to a long-term deal but will sign his $1.54 million tender about two weeks earlier than expected, the newspaper reported, confirming an earlier report.
Unlike Jackson, Mankins wasn't placed on the roster exempt list by the Patriots, meaning Mankins needed to report to the team by the Tuesday following Week 10 or become ineligible to play in the NFL at all in 2010. Also unlike Jackson, Mankins is elgible to return to game action immediately.
Mankins is a five-year NFL veteran -- experienced enough to qualify as unrestricted free agents under a new CBA. However, clauses in the current CBA have caused much concern in union circles about the players' future status and ultimately led them to report to their teams this season, La Canfora reported.
Being on a roster for at least six weeks would basically assure Mankins of an accrued season -- and unrestricted free agency or a franchise-type tag. That season gives the Mankins six in the league, and in any new CBA, players would need no more than that to earn unrestricted free agency.