Buccaneers' Logan Mankins retiring after 11 NFL seasons
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Logan Mankins is retiring after 11 NFL seasons.
The seven-time Pro Bowl guard played the past two seasons with the Bucs after spending the first nine years of his career with the New England Patriots.
The team announced Mankins' decision Monday, with general manager Jason Licht calling the 33-year-old ''one of the toughest, most intelligent and skilled players at his position'' that he's ever seen.
''Logan distinguished himself as the ultimate professional over his 11-year career and he was an unquestioned leader for us over the past two seasons,'' Licht said. ''His leadership, work ethic and selflessness played a key role in the development of our younger players, and he set the standard which we use to evaluate all of our offensive linemen.''
The move, which did not come as a surprise, increases the likelihood Tampa Bay will be in the market for a guard in free agency or the upcoming draft. Licht and former coach Lovie Smith began rebuilding the offensive line a year ago when they selected tackle Donovan Smith and guard Ali Marpet, who both became immediate starters.
Before Lovie Smith was fired and replaced in January by Dirk Koetter, the former coach said convincing Mankins to return for another season was a top priority.
Mankins was obtained in a trade from New England during the 2014 preseason and started 31 games over the past two seasons. The Bucs rebounded from a 2-14 record in his first year with Tampa Bay to finish 6-10 in 2015, with Mankins helping pave the way for Doug Martin to rush for 1,402 yards.
New England selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft. He started two Super Bowls and 17 postseason games overall, as well as all 130 regular-season games he played for the Patriots.
Mankins was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and for five consecutive seasons from 2009 to 2013.
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