The New York Jets cut veteran center, Nick Mangold, this offseason. Throughout all of the misery, Mangold was one bright spot in franchise history.
Listen, we know it’s tough being a New York Jets fan. What might be a tougher pill to swallow, is seeing the few players that made Jets fans proud be cut, traded, etc. The team cut veteran center, Nick Mangold, as they continue their slew of cutting players to manage their salary cap.
Now, we can see what the franchise is doing. They are making the cuts we expected, and are finally (maybe?) moving in somewhat the right direction. It’s not about that right now, though. Let’s look at what the Jets did right with Mangold, and how we might never see anyone like him in the near future.
The irreplaceability of Nick Mangold
Mangold was drafted by New York in the 2006 NFL Draft. As per Jet Senior Reporter and Team insider Eric Allen, it’s clear how valuable the man of gold was (not my best).
2006 NFL Draft: Brick No. 4 overall & Nick No. 29 overall. 160 games for the LT and 3 Pro Bowls. 164 games for the C and 7 Pro Bowls. pic.twitter.com/gP9PpVUr71
— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) February 25, 2017
11 seasons with New York might sound like a harsh punishment that nobody deserves, but Mangold gave us a reason to be proud of representing the green and white. From the iconic beard to his dominant play, there’s nothing you can do but find love for this man.
In his first season, Mangold led the offensive line to give quarterback Chad Pennington a career year. It was a first for both players, with Mangold being a rookie and Pennington starting 16 games for the first time in his career. The Jets would go 10-6 and lose to the New England Patriots (who else?) in the Wild Card round, 37-16.
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Somehow, someway, Mangold always thrived despite who was receiving his snaps. And, according to Pro Football Focus analyst John Gatta via Twitter, Mangold was pretty darn good at playing his position.
Now, the Jets are deciding to move on from Mangold, which is clearly the right thing to do. It hurts my heart knowing he won’t be a Jet next year, but it’s for the best. Injuries and age all play a part in football, as it is a business after all.
What’s more hard-to-the-heart, is the slim possibility we will see someone as relished in New York as Mangold was. First, we saw D’Brickashaw Ferguson retire, and now Mangold is out of New York. The last we have of hard-knocked Jets is David Harris.
The era is closing in.