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