As the rebuilding New York Jets make yet another difficult business decision, the organization and its fans should take a moment to remember and appreciate everything that Nick Mangold brought to the franchise.
The great roster purge of the New York Jets continues. After already releasing Nick Folk, Breno Giacomini, and Ryan Clady, it was announced Saturday that the team will also be moving on from Nick Mangold.
While the other cuts were decent players who made respectable contributions to the team, Mangold is a Jets legend. In an era where offensive linemen often take a back seat behind the “more interesting” offensive positions like quarterback and wide receiver, it’s important that Jets fans consider all that Mangold brought to the organization.
Over a year ago, I wrote a piece that ranked Mangold as the 19th greatest Jets player of all time. That ranking was far too low. In reality, Mangold is a consensus future Pro Football Hall of Famer who is easily a top 10 (if not top 5) player in franchise history.
Think I’m getting carried away? Take a look at the following chart comparing the credentials of some of the Jets best all-time players (stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference).
Since being drafted in 2006, Mangold was the Jets starting center for 11 seasons. Over that span, he started in 164 of the team’s 176 regular season games. He also started in all seven of the team’s playoff games from 2006-present.
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In addition to his longevity, Mangold also played at an elite level. He made seven Pro Bowl appearances (second most in franchise history) and two All-Pro teams.
As poor as Jets quarterback play generally is, it’s frightening to think how much worse their quarterbacks could have performed if not for the steady play of Mangold.
Finally, for a team that has been plagued lately by locker room dysfunction and off-field distractions, it’s worth noting that Mangold was always an utmost professional. He made his headlines for his play on the field, an example other Jets players should try to emulate.
Thank you, Nick Mangold, for your leadership, professionalism, talent, and hard style of play. No matter where you end up next, you will always be a New York Jet.