By Tom E. Curran
DALLAS - There's a point at which cryptic references to things the media supposedly got wrong gets a little tired.
Robert Kraft hit that point Friday.
The Patriots have hard-lined the hell out of Logan Mankins since last offseason.
And the player has been just as stubborn.
Now, after Kraft and the Patriots have lobbed verbal love Mankins' way since he returned from his self-imposed exile, Kraft is insinuating the media misportrayed the situation.
"Logan Mankins is one of the best players on the team and I think there’s been a little misunderstanding about some things that have been written," Kraft said. "I just personally want to say: I hope he’s with us for a long term and we’re going to try to do whatever we have to do to make sure that happens."
Asked which things were written, Kraft resumed obfuscating.
"I said the media in writing about it, in my mind," Kraft answered. "Just speaking for myself, Logan’s a great player and I hope he’s with us long-term."
I asked if he was referring to the apology that Adam Schefter reported Kraft demanded from Mankins, Kraft looked hard at me then moved on to another question.
There really is no "hope" about it for the Patriots. Because of the franchise tag, Mankins is going to be bound to the Patriots as long as they see fit. And even if it's ruled in court that the franchise tag the Patriots will almost certainly apply to Mankins in the coming weeks is illegal, the franchise tag will be part of the next CBA.
Mankins was a player that got caught up in the expiring CBA situation and wasn't able to hit free agency. The Patriots offered him a one-year tender salary of more than $3 million but Mankins wanted the security of a long-term deal and the sides couldn't hammer it out.
So the $3 million got chopped in half. And then that amount got sliced when Mankins only showed to play in a portion of the games.
Mankins isn't going anywhere until the Patriots say so.