Mankins feels as though the team isn't willing to lock him up to a long-term deal and says there hasn't been any talks on a new contract, and the only way he sees himself back in a Pats uniform is if they place the franchise tag on him, the Herald reported.
"No, I wouldn't be happy about [a potential franchise tag], if that's what they chose to do, to be dealt that kind of hand," Mankins said Thursday after Pro Bowl practice in Hawaii, according to the report. "But we'll see what happens."
Mankins' contract with the Patriots is up and, contingent upon the rules set forth in the new collective bargaining agreement, he almost certainly will be an unrestricted free agent.
Mankins was supposed to be unrestricted last offseason, but rules for an uncapped year made him restricted. The Patriots offered him a basic qualifying offer. He was furious, refused to sign the one-year, $3.26 million tender and missed the first seven games before he acquiesced.
When he failed to sign the original tender by midnight on June 14, the Patriots reduced the tender to $1.54 million, which was further reduced because it was prorated over the portion of the season Mankins was with the team. He joined the Patriots for the final nine games of the regular season.
Had he failed to report in time for the last six games of the season, he wouldn't have accrued enough service time to earn credit for playing this season, which could have jeopardized his free-agent status.
Under that timeframe, he actually reported several weeks earlier than he had to.
Whether the Patriots and Mankins can put aside the rancor associated with his holdout remains to be seen.
Mankins and his agent, Frank Bauer, believed back in training camp that they could reach agreement with the Patriots on a long-term deal, but negotiations apparently fell apart because owner Robert Kraft insisted Mankins make a public apology for the contract dispute before finalizing the deal. Mankins did apologize privately to Kraft but refused to do so publicly, and the proposed extension consequently collapsed, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
"Well, everyone knows I apologized to Mr. Kraft," Mankins said. "He told everyone."
Despite missing so much time, Mankins was voted a starter for the Pro Bowl and selected first-team All-Pro.
"I would never say the door is totally shut," he said Thursday, according to the Herald report. "But the way it's looking right now, I don't see it happening. I don't see them trying to keep me, unless it's with the franchise tag."
Information from ESPN.com's Tim Graham, ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.