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Mankins' Decision Won't Change Draft Plans

Posted Mar 3, 2016

Logan Mankins' future with the Buccaneers won't change the team's draft strategy, General Manager Jason Licht said.

In 11 seasons in the NFL, Logan Mankins has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, including this past year, after he helped Doug Martin run for more than 1,400 yards. At the end of the season, when presented with the question as to whether or not he would retire, Mankins didn’t dismiss the possibility, explaining that he would take time in the offseason to evaluate his position.

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While Mankins was undoubtedly an integral part of a high-performing group last season, whether or not he will retire won’t dictate what the Buccaneers do in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“We’ll be talking to Logan in the next few weeks,” General Manager Jason Licht said at the NFL Combine. “His decision isn’t going to have any sort of hindrance on what we’re planning on doing for the future.

"You’ve got to build, you’ve got to look three years ahead, so his decision isn’t going to hurt us in any way right now, with what we’re planning on doing.”

Whether or not Mankins will return for a 12th season, the Buccaneers have been linked to offensive linemen in several mock drafts – just not offensive linemen at his position. A handful of draft analysts have projected the Bucs to draft former Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 9 pick. In short, if Mankins retires, don't expect Tampa Bay to jump at a potential replacement in this year's draft.

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There is no question, though, that the Buccaneers are a better team with Mankins on their roster. This past season, Tampa Bay finished fifth in the NFL in total offensive yards, their highest finish in team history.