NFC South Shakeup: Logan Mankins Trade Implications


January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) drops back to pass as guard Logan Mankins (70) blocks against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL world waits for the completion of the first round of preseason cuts, the New England Patriots completed a blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will have ramifications for the NFC South.

A little after 1pm, Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported that the New England Patriots traded All-Pro guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an undisclosed draft pick and tight end Tim Wright.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had recently met with former Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito for a visit to shore up an extreme lack of talent left by the retirement of pro-bowl guard Carl Nicks.

The surprise isn’t so much on that Tampa Bay would reach for him, but that the Patriots saw value in the trade. Glazer went on to remark that it shouldn’t be such a surprise to the average fan given the past tendencies of the Patriots.

The addition of Mankins will certainly stabilize the Buccaneers offensive line as they already had a capable guard in Jamon Meredith. The big thing he brings is a wealth of NFL experience.

He has blocked for two different 1,000-yard rushers and was a part of an offensive line that has allowed the sixth-fewest sacks in the NFL since 2005.

The immediate beneficiaries would be Doug Martin (a solid fantasy selection, if you didn’t know) and emerging quarterback Josh McCown.

The trade also signals that Bucs head coach Lovie Smith is in win-now mode. The Buccaneers already had defensive front seven that was on the rise as soon as Smith entered this offseason.

Now the offensive line will be able to punch open running lanes and give McCown an extra second or two in pass protection.

McCown is no Tom Brady, but an extra second or two in pass protection could be the difference between checking the ball down to the tight end or finding the wide receiver for a deep pass. The Bucs now have an offense that can help the team contend in the NFC South.