The Jets have released Nick Mangold, the 11-year pro and their seven-time Pro Bowl center.
"For the past 11 years, Nick Mangold has been a cornerstone of our team both on and off the field," said Jets owner Woody Johnson. "As our Pro Bowl center, Nick consistently demonstrated superior skill and unmatched toughness. Equally important, off the field, Nick exhibited respect, sensitivity and compassion for the causes he supported. It has been a privilege to have known Nick these many years and, for all of us, I say Nick will always be a Jet."
Mangold had a great run as the latest in the Jets' line of great centers. He was taken with the 29th selection of the first round in the 2006 draft — 25 slots after the Jets tabbed tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson — and was the starter from his first game wearing No. 74 in green and white, at the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 season opener.
That began a stretch of 82 consecutive starts — 89 straight if we include playoff games — before he came out of the lineup with an ankle sprain for two games early in 2011. But he returned and promptly made 59 starts in a row after that before his next rest. And even when he came out of a game, Nick's M.O. was to be back on the field one play or at worst one series later.
"A great person, a great player. You could always count on Nick's smarts, consistency and poise," said head coach Todd Bowles. "Nick's knowledge of the game and ability to quickly process information made him an invaluable resource to his teammates. He will always mean a lot to everyone in this organization."
Durability was only part of the Mangold magic. Beginning with the 2008 season, he was selected for those seven Pro Bowl berths, all in a span of eight seasons.
In five of those all-star games, Mangold received a starting assignment. He was also named All-Pro first-team by The Associated Press, the Pro Football Writers of America, and The Sporting News in both 2009 and '10 and by TSN in '11 as well.
Best Images of the Seven-Time Pro Bowler During His Time in the Green & White
This past season, an ankle injury suffered early in the Game 7 win over the Ravens sidelined Mangold for the next four games. He returned to start and take 45 snaps in the Monday night game against the Colts but re-injured the ankle and went on Injured Reserve for the final four games.
"Decisions of this magnitude are always difficult, but even more so with someone like Nick who has meant so much to this organization," said GM Mike Maccagnan. "We appreciate not just his on-field contributions, but the imprint that his mentality and approach to the game leaves on this team."