Report: Patriots talk to Chargers about Mankins-Jackson trade

The New England Patriots have two issues: They need a big-play wide receiver after trading Randy Moss, and Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins hasn't budged in his contract holdout.

The team has tried to resolve both problems by holding preliminary talks with the Chargers about a deal that would send Mankins to San Diego and bring wide receiver Vincent Jackson to Foxborough, Comcast SportsNet New England reported Thursday, citing a source.

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Jackson was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and, like Mankins, is holding out because he wants a long-term deal, not the restricted free-agent tender he was offered. Unlike Mankins, Jackson was placed on the roster-exempt list by the Chargers, meaning he must sit out three games if he signs or is traded.

Mankins' agent rejected the idea of the Patriots and Chargers making the deal for a simple reason: Neither player has signed a contract.

Frank Bauer told the Boston Herald: "Somebody can call me tomorrow and say, 'You've been traded to Cincinnati,' and I can say, 'No, no, no, no. You got to have a contract.'"

Bauer called the speculation "totally insane," then added: "But who knows? The Patriots do strange things. … Until it all (shakes out), you don't know. But ... that's totally ludicrous."

The San Diego Union-Tribuneconfirmed that trade talks have been held, but it termed the chances of a deal happening as "highly unlikely." The newspaper reported that the Chargers' asking price for Jackson is a first- and a second-round pick, but the Patriots might not be willing to meet that price.

Comcast SportsNet New England reported that, according to a media source in San Diego, the Chargers are not interested in dealing for Mankins.

Mankins hadn't missed a game in his NFL career before the holdout and is considered a premium guard. However, the Chargers are set at the position with veteran Kris Dielman and second-year pro Louis Vasquez.

If the Patriots were to land Jackson, he would be a younger replacement for 33-year-old Moss, who was dealt to the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. Jackson, 27, has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and, at 6-foot-5, provides quarterbacks with a big target.

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