Report: Patriots plan to franchise Pro Bowl guard Mankins

The New England Patriots "definitely" will place a franchise tag on Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins, the *Boston Herald* reported Friday.

The move, in essence, would prolong the negotiating period between Mankins and the Patriots, who have been engaged in a rocky contract dispute since before last season.

Mankins said earlier this month that he believes the Patriots are unlikely to be involved in any bidding wars.

"I would never say the door is totally shut," he said. "But the way it's looking right now, I don't see it happening. I don't see them trying to keep me, unless it's with the franchise tag."

Mankins was a restricted free agent following the 2009 season, and he and the team couldn't agree on a contract. The six-year veteran eventually signed a reduced tender offer in November and returned for the final nine regular-season games to accrue another season in order to qualify for unrestricted free agency this offseason.

Mankins, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has never missed a start in games he was eligible to play in with the Patriots since 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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