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Give a few thoughts on the New York Jets decision to release Nick Mangold…
David Aitken – When the Jets drafted Mangold in round one of 2006, there were definitely high expectations. Mangold not only met those expectations, the Jets got the best case scenario. A rock from day one, he was the cornerstone of the strong offensive line play that was a staple of the back-to-back AFC Championship runs. For a team with as little to celebrate historically as the Jets, Mangold’s career should not be taken for granted. He is without a doubt one of the best offensive linemen of the past decade and will go down as one of the best Jets ever.
Joe Malfa – The business side of football reared its ugly head yesterday, but it is an unfortunate reality of the game so many of us love. There comes a time when your age, declining level of play and price tag make you expendable — Nick mangold reached that point.
Some may make the case for 2007-2012 Darrelle Revis, but I believe Mangold is the greatest Jet of the last decade. He was a tremendous player who will end up in the Hall of Fame after no more than a couple of ballots, but more than that, he was a class act. By all accounts, he was a great teammate, a great leader and a great man.
Mangold left Jets fans with a lot of great memories, and I will now also become a fan of whichever team signs him in the hopes that he wins a ring — there are few players who deserve one as much as Mangold.
Kevin Zielaznicki – After the Jets parted ways with longtime center Kevin Mawae, the Jets selected Nick Mangold with the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and he was the anchor of Gang Green’s offensive line for the next 11 seasons. He was a consistent Pro Bowler and was one of the top offensive lineman in the league throughout his time with the Jets. Mangold will be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day and he was truly one of the best players in franchise history. But perhaps the greatest memory fans will have about him was how we truly embraced the city of New York. He was one of the biggest supporters of the New York Fire and Police Departments and he took pride in his city. Mangold was a true New Yorker and he will be missed be all Jets fans.
Jake Benaquisto – Even when the personnel surrounding him was subpar, Nick Mangold always remained the heart of the Jets’ offense. His presence as the beast of the offensive line will be sorely missed, but the Jets are also losing a great leader and personality in the locker room. It’s always difficult moving on from such a beloved player, but with the Jets committing to their youth movement, both parties are likely better off. Mangold’s years of tremendous service with the Jets will always be remembered, and I wouldn’t be surprised if #74 is retired as soon as next season.
Nikki Charlesworth – The departure of Mangold was probably predictable, due to his recent propensity for injury and his salary cap hit, but the fact it was coming doesn’t make it any easier to accept. The Jets haven’t had many high round draft successes in the last decade but they certainly hit the jackpot with Mangold. With his multiple pro bowl and All-pro selections, he ranked as one of the top centres in the league for much of his 11 season career with the Jets. Top level centres are hard to find and Mangold provided the Jets with a great deal of consistency at this key position, despite turbulence at quarterback. He’s certainly earnt his position in the Jets ring of honour and should be a hall of fame candidate, quietly performing at the highest level for many years. Wesley Johnson has big shoes to fill.
It won’t just be Mangold’s onfield presence which will be missed; the locker room has lost a key leader who has been a consistent and positive force through good and bad times. A genuine good guy, he was even kind enough to humour this slightly giddy English girl with a few minutes of conversation when the Jets game to London in 2015. I for one will continue to wear my #74 jersey with pride for many years to come. Thanks for everything Nick.
Michael McLaughlin – Rex Ryan frequently used the “play like a Jet” mantra. Mangold was the epitome of that phrase — both on and off the field. Fans never had to question his leadership or effort. Unfortunately for him, he was never provided quarterback play that matched his own at center. Drafting Mangold is arguably the best player personnel decision the Jets have made in 10-plus years, and he’ll continue to be a fan favorite for years to come.
John Hargaden – Over the course of 11 seasons, Nick Mangold was everything you wanted in a player both on and off the field. Year after year he just went to work, did his job and went home. He will go down as one of, if not the best Centers in Jets history. He will be in the ring of honor and potentially a hall of fame candidate as well. Nick was due to make $9.1 million this year however for a team that is in rebuild mode, it is time to look in a different direction. There will be plenty of fans wearing #74 for years to come. Thank you Mangold.
Daniel Essen – One constant worry of Jets fans is that a player won’t live up to his potential. Mangold had high expectations as a first round draft pick and he met them all. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more consistent center since he entered the NFL. He stepped into Kevin Mawae’s shoes and gave the Jets another 11 years of elite performances at that position. Hard to have nothing but gratitude for his time as a Jet.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com