Former Fresno State football standout and NFL seven-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins announced his retirement Monday, ending an 11-year career that included seven Pro Bowl selections.
Mankins, an offensive guard who has played the past two seasons for Tampa Bay, officially informed Buccaneers management of his decision Monday morning, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Though he did not comment publicly, the team confirmed his decision in a news release later in the day.
“It is always difficult losing a player of Logan’s caliber both on the field and in the locker room,” Bucs General Manager Jason Licht said. “He is one of the toughest, most intelligent and skilled players at his position that I have seen in my years around this game. 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.
“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.”
Mankins spent his first nine professional seasons with New England, going to a pair of Super Bowls, then was traded to Tampa Bay in 2014. He started at left guard for 31 of 32 games during his two seasons with the Buccaneers, making his final Pro Bowl trip this year.
“He brings so much value to a team just because he’s been doing it for so long,” said Buccaneers teammate Ali Marpet, a rookie lineman this past season. “He was fun playing with this year … he has a lot of things that he can teach younger guys.”
In a league and at a position where it is tough to remain healthy for an entire career, Mankins played in 161 of a possible 176 games. He started in all 17 of the Patriots’ postseason games from 2005-13, scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery in the AFC Championship on Jan. 21, 2007.
Mankins is believed to be the only man known to have played on a torn ACL, according to a report on nfl.com, doing so for most of the 2011 season. In the Super Bowl to end that season, he also played with a torn MCL in his other knee.
A diamond in the rough when he was recruited to Fresno State by then-coach Pat Hill out of Mariposa High, he started all 14 games as a redshirt freshman in 2001 while blocking for quarterback and future NFL No. 1 overall selection David Carr. As a sophomore, he again started every game and was on the Outland Trophy watch list.
A preseason knee injury forced him to miss the 2003 season. In 2004, he started every game at left tackle and was named to All-Western Athletic Conference first team ahead of his selection in the first round, No. 32 overall, by the Patriots in the 2005 NFL Draft.
“He had a great career and he’s a special person,” Hill said Monday. “He has a great family and I know he wanted to be with them. The last two years in Tampa were very tough because his family stayed in New England. All of his children are doing well in school so his wife and family stayed in new England while he played in Tampa and that was very, very tough for him.”