Patriots Notebook

Mankins’s pact is top of the line

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Chad Ochocinco manned the sideline last night. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Chad Ochocinco manned the sideline last night. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker
Globe Staff / August 12, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - The numbers are in, and Logan Mankins is the highest-paid interior lineman in the NFL.

The six-year contract the All-Pro left guard signed with the Patriots was filed yesterday, and it will pay him $51 million - $30 million of which is guaranteed.

The breakdown goes like this: Mankins receives a $20 million signing bonus and base salaries of $1.5 million in 2011, $2.75 million in 2012, $5.75 million in 2013, $6.25 million in 2014, and $6.75 million each in 2015 and ’16.

For each year from 2012-16, Mankins also has workout bonuses of $250,000.

Without the workout money (which Mankins will very likely earn), the deal averages $8.29 million per season, which is more than the average annual contracts of the Saints’ Jahri Evans and the Jets’ Nick Mangold.

Evans was the highest-paid interior lineman when he signed his seven-year, $56.7 million deal before last season. That contract averages $8.1 million per year. Mangold’s deal works out to $7.725 million.

Agent Frank Bauer wanted Mankins’s contract to reflect his stature as perhaps the best guard in the game, and this deal certainly does that.

The pact also gives the Patriots some salary cap relief: Mankins’s franchise tag was just over $10.1 million, all of which would have counted against this year’s cap. With the new deal, that number drops to $4.833 million this season.

Here are more base numbers for recently signed Patriots: Matt Light will earn $1 million this year and $3.4 next year; Shaun Ellis will earn $1.5 million before bonuses; Andre Carter gets $1.75 million, and Mark Anderson gets $1 million.

Brady gets night off Though he was in uniform, Tom Brady did not play last night - and he was not the only starter to sit out.

It looked more like the fourth exhibition game than the first in terms of the players New England put on the field; a number of regulars dressed but remained on the sideline.

In addition to Brady, players from the top offensive line unit - Mankins, Dan Koppen, and Sebastian Vollmer - were rested, though first-round pick Nate Solder did play.

Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Rob Gronkowski sat out as well.

Brian Hoyer started at quarterback.

On defense, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Devin McCourty did not play.

Players not in uniform included Albert Haynesworth, Mike Wright, James Sanders, Brandon Spikes, Brandon Tate, Dan Connolly, Shane Vereen, Ras-I Dowling, Eric Kettani, Ryan Wendell, Chris Morris, Kevin Faulk, Shaun Ellis, Light, Josh Barrett, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Deaderick, and Ron Brace.

Nice pick The Patriots held Jaguars QBs Blaine Gabbert and Todd Bouman to a combined 42.6 completion percentage, and they had one interception.

From Buddy Farnham.

Farnham, an undrafted rookie last year from Brown and an Andover native, has spent much of his time working with the offense as a receiver. But he’s also taken some reps at defensive back, a la Troy Brown, which is where he was lined up in the fourth quarter, when a tipped pass ended up in his hands. He had a 2-yard return, but when Farnham went to the sideline, everyone was slapping him on the helmet and shoulders, from coach Bill Belichick on down.

“I got a little experience there last year and the coaches, I just do what they tell me to do the best I can,’’ he said. “I just read the quarterback, it was so quick. I went over there and got lucky, got my hands on one.’’

Given Belichick’s postgame quip that a receiver led the team in interceptions, the defensive backs will likely take some ribbing in the film room today.

Fletcher breaks out Linebacker Dane Fletcher had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the first half. In the first quarter, he tackled running back Rashad Jennings for a 6-yard loss.

Fletcher said it took him a few plays to get back into game mode after the offseason.

“Getting used to kind of having the control out there for the first game was a little tough at first,’’ Fletcher said. “But once I got the hang of it, I thought our whole defense played pretty well.’’

Fletcher is in his second season after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Montana State.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games, accumulating two sacks, one forced fumble, and 10 tackles. Fletcher has worked on transitioning from a lineman to an inside linebacker.

“I’m a linebacker now,’’ he said. “There’s no way I’m going back to the D-line - completely. I feel comfortable as a linebacker in this scheme and whatever they can use me as. This is a great place for me.’’

Evans checks in Free agent fullback Heath Evans, who spent three-plus seasons in New England, was on the sideline as a reporter for NFL Network . . . Former Patriot Terrence Wheatley is a backup cornerback for Jacksonville. Wheatley is returning from a torn hamstring suffered shortly after he joined the team last November . . . Former UMass standout linebacker Jeremy Cain is the Jaguars’ long snapper . . . The Patriots have today off but will be back on the practice field tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. The session will be open to the public.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff and Globe correspondent Nicole Auerbach contributed to this report.

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