Nick Mangold, New York Jets
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Former first-round pick and New York Jets legend, center Nick Mangold, has announced his retirement from the NFL.

Tuesday morning marked the official end of an era of New York Jets football. Former Jets star Nick Mangold announced his retirement. He was the last pillar remaining from that magical 2006 NFL Draft class.

Mangold revealed the news on Twitter early Tuesday morning

“To whom it may concern,

I am officially retiring from the NFL and these are some of my immediate thoughts that came to mind with this announcement.

I remember the night before my first pee-wee practice like it happened yesterday. The unknown, the excitement, and the small ball of nervous energy that sits in your stomach were all present that night. Those same feelings would stick with me every fall for the next 23 years. What I didn’t know way back in 1993 is how much football would end up meaning to me and how it would shape my life.

From the moment I stepped on the field, I was hooked. I won’t say that I loved every minute as it was happening – Oklahoma drills, monkey rolls, bear crawls, Jim Tressel’s conditioning tests, every loss and every injury. But as I reflect back, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. All of the negatives taught me an important lesson and all the positives reinforced those lessons.

Everything that happened from pee-wee football to high school football to having the good fortune to play at The Ohio State University molded me for my opportunity to play for the New York Jets. I was privileged that Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Eric Mangini took a chance on me with the 29th pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. In my 1 years as a Jet, there were plenty of ups and downs but, through it all, I wanted to be the Steady Eddie. I wanted to be the guy that other guys looked at to see how it was done. I learned this attribute from the vets that I played with. My biggest regret is not bringing the Lombardi Trophy to New York, but, as I retire, I will continue my efforts to bring the Trophy home in a different capacity. I have no idea what that capacity is but I’m sure I will figure something out in the future.

I want to thank the fans for all their support. To all the fans of the Centerville Wee Elks (we call them parents), Archbishop Alter High School (also parents but students and alumni as well), The Ohio State University (some casual and some die hard), and the New York Jets (all die hard as I have found), I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I also want to thank my teammates, coaches, NYJ staff and front office, and my friends. It has been an amazing ride and it wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Lastly I want to thank my family. The consistency of support I have received from them,, plus the additions that came along the way, has made this all possible. A special thank you to my wife and three kids who have done everything they can to help me be successful on the field.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my ramblings and I can’t wait to see what this new chapter brings.

Go Jets!”

That 2006 NFL draft was also the last time the Jets used a first-round pick on an offensive lineman. They had two first rounders that year and cashed in twice with two future Ring of Honor members in Mangold and of course D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

It’s a draft class that, aside from Mangold and Ferguson, produced a handful of fan favorites.

  • Kellen Clemens, QB, Oregon
  • Eric Smith, S, Michigan
  • Brad Smith, QB/WR, Missouri
  • Leon Washington, RB, Florida State

There are so many memories here for Jets fans.

Clemens is still playing in the league today as a backup. Eric Smith is the one who helped light up Anquan Boldin and broke his jaw in a game where Brett Favre threw six touchdown passes. Brad Smith was the last great return man for the green and white. Who can forget about the “Seminole” offense with Washington at the helm? Wildcat plays haven’t been as effective since.

People call me Boy Green for my unwavering dedication to all things New York Jets. I work at The Score 1260 in Syracuse and I'm extremely passionate about sports. I aspire to continue my rise through the business and hopefully I'll end up working for the New York Jets in some capacity.