It’s hard to feel bad for a guy who played 11 seasons in the NFL and protected Tom Brady for 9 of them. Having said that, how can you not feel bad for Logan Mankins?
Mankins was not only drafted right after the Pats win their 3rd Super Bowl in the Spring of 2005, but he was drafted with the exact pick that signified that the Pats were the defending champions — 32nd overall. He wore the “XXXIX” emblem on his shirt for the whole year and was a member of the Super Bowl champs, but he never got to experience the victory itself.
For the next 9 seasons, Mankins came as close to a Super Bowl as you can possibly get in a career without actually winning one. In 2006, the Pats almost beat the Colts and would have smoked the Bears with their eyes closed considering how Rex Grossman played that night. In 2007 and 2011, you know what happened. In 2010 and 2012, the Pats lost shockers at home in Foxboro when they might have had the best chance to win it all, and then Mankins’ career in New England ended when the injury-riddled 2013 Patriots limped into the AFC Championship game and were mercifully brought out to the stables by the Broncos. That spring, the Pats re-tooled, and they looked like a hell of a team going into the 2014 season. Then, Mankins was traded for Tim Wright and a 4th round pick, and he missed out on one of the most rewarding seasons that a sports team can have, all while he wasted away in Tampa Bay for the team that was about to earn the 1st overall pick.
I guess he can get to say that he got to protect Jameis Winston in his rookie year…?
Don’t get me wrong, Logan Mankins had an amazing career, and he deserves to make the Hall of Fame in 2021, which is shaping up to be an amazing HOF class with Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, and Charles Woodson. We can never take that away from him, and it’s the first way that he deserves to be remembered.
At the same time, Logan Mankins was a part of a championship organization in the years that they didn’t win a championship. Always a bridesmaid. You have to feel for the guy.