Offensive guard Logan Mankins reported to the Patriots on Tuesday and the two-time, second-team All Pro could be activated as early as Sunday against the Browns.
Mankins has been replaced in the starting lineup by Dan Connolly. He signed his restricted free-agent tender -- worth $1.54 million instead of the $3.27 million he could've earned by signing the tender by June 14 -- and is eligible to earn an accrued season of free-agency service.
Mankins had been advised last week by the NFLPA to sign the tender and report to the Patriots. The team received a roster exemption for Mankins that expires Nov. 15.
Mankins held out since the offseason began because he could not agree to a long-term contract with the Patriots. He was required to report by Nov. 16 in order to accrue the season he needed to become an unrestricted free agent.
Mankins said in June that he was disappointed the team didn't keep its word by offering him a long-term deal.
"Right now, this is about principle with me and keeping your word and how you treat people," Mankins told ESPN Boston in June. "This is what I thought the foundation of the Patriots was built on. Apparently, I was wrong."
But the Patriots did have an offer on the table, reportedly worth around $7 million per season, which came close to Saints OG Jahri Evans contract, but the structure of that deal -- including the bonuses -- were never known and Mankins declined it.
At the time, Mankins said: "I want to be traded. I don't need to be here anymore."
The 28-year-old was a first-round pick in 2005 out of Fresno State.
--The Patriots have started the season with at least six wins in their first seven games for the fifth time in team history and the fourth time under coach Bill Belichick after improving to a 6-1 record with the win over the Vikings.
The Patriots started the season 6-1 in 1974, 1980, 2004 and 2006. In 2007, New England started the season 7-0. With Pittsburgh losing to New Orleans on Sunday night and the Jets losing to Green Bay, the Patriots are the only team in the league with just one loss.
--The Patriots have now won 16 straight games at Gillette Stadium against NFC opponents.
The only time in Gillette Stadium history that the Patriots lost to an NFC team was in their first game against an NFC opponent at the new stadium in 2002 when the Packers beat them 28-10.
--Tom Brady has now won 24 consecutive regular-season starts at Gillette Stadium, closing to within one win of Brett Favre's post-merger NFL-record 25-game home winning streak.
The last time the Patriots lost a regular-season home game in which Brady started was on Nov. 12, 2006, against the Jets. Favre won 25 straight home games for Green Bay from September 1995 through October 1998.
--OG Logan Mankins reported to the Patriots on Tuesday and the two-time second-team All-Pro could be activated as early as Sunday against the Browns. Mankins has been replaced in the starting lineup by Dan Connolly.
--QB Tom Brady won his 24th straight regular-season start at Gillette Stadium with Sunday's victory over the Vikings, putting him one game shy of Brett Favre's NFL record that he established from 1995-98 with the Packers.
--RB Danny Woodhead had a team-high five receptions for 45 yards in beating the Vikings, including a key 16-yard gain on
third-and-12 in the team's 80-yard march to a game-clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
--RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career-high 112 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns against Minnesota. More impressive was the fact that the bulk of the yards came late in the win, as the third-year former undrafted player had just four carries for 4 yards in the first half.
--TE Aaron Hernandez leads the Patriots with 388 yards receiving. He had a 27-yard reception on one of his two catches against Minnesota, marking the sixth time in seven games this season he's notched a reception of 20 or more yards.
--WR Deion Branch was clearly limited by a hamstring injury against the Vikings, finishing with just one reception for 21 yards. Branch hobbled out of bounds at the end of his one catch, this after missing practice time with the injury last week.
--WR Wes Welker leads New England with 40 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He had just three catches for 24 yards against Minnesota for an 8-yard average, which matches his average per catch through seven games on the season.
--TE Alge Crumpler has just one reception for 4 yards on the season, and was shut out yet again on Sunday, but the Patriots offensive co-captain continues to draw rave reviews from his teammates for his blocking and leadership.
--ILB Jerod Mayo had 14 tackles against Minnesota, his fourth straight game with 10 or more tackles. He leads New England with 91 tackles in seven games, putting him on pace for 208 stops on the season, which would be the highest total for a New England defender since 1983.
--CB Devin McCourty recorded an interception for the second straight week, with the first-round pick returning Brett Favre's pass 37 yards to help set up a New England score. McCourty is tied with LB Rob Ninkovich and S Patrick Chung for the Patriots team lead with two interceptions.
--DL Mike Wright hauled down Tarvaris Jackson for a 10-yard sack in Sunday's win, giving him a team-leading four sacks on the season.
--DL Vince Wilfork, a Pro Bowl nose tackle in the past, continues to show his versatility by switching through all three defensive line spots in New England's 3-4 front on a weekly basis.
--PK Stephen Gostkowski had another touchback on a kickoff against Minnesota, giving the former All-Pro 15 touchbacks through seven games. Gostkowski's career-high for touchbacks is 21, set last season.
--DL Brandon Deaderick, a seventh-round rookie, earned his third straight start at defensive end. He finished with two solo tackles for a defensive line that used plenty of rotations and substitutions in beating Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
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