KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- Even under the Oahu sun, Logan Mankins' future remains somewhat clouded.
The New England Patriots guard went through his first practice with the AFC team Wednesday morning in advance of Sunday’s Pro Bowl and insisted after the workout that his impending free agency isn’t weighing on him during his stay in Hawaii.
“It’s a vacation, I’m not too worried about it,” Mankins said.
Mankins, who was elected a starter on the AFC offensive line despite missing the first seven games of the regular season due to a contract dispute, didn’t rule out a return to the Patriots next season ... assuming there is a next season, that is.
“We don’t even have a CBA [collective bargaining agreement],” Mankins said. “So I’m not too concerned with it right now.”
As far as the possibility of the Patriots placing the franchise tag on him, “anything is possible,” he said. “You know as much as I do right now.”
For now, Mankins is preparing for his second Pro Bowl appearance, joined on the AFC roster by six other New England players and members of the Patriots coaching staff.
“It’s still an honor to come over here and see a lot of friends I have from other teams and have a good time,” Mankins said.
There is, of course, one place he’d prefer over Hawaii.
“I’d much rather be in Dallas,” he said. “That’s what we play for.”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Jason Kaneshiro is covering the Pro Bowl for ESPNBoston.com all week.