Nick Mangold, New York Jets
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Former New York Jets center Nick Mangold has decided to hang it up. Here’s why he’ll be remembered forever among Jets Nation. 

Nick Mangold was everything you wanted in a center. He was durable, consistent and played with a relentless aggression for the New York Jets.

More than that, he was considered the best center in the NFL throughout his career. His seven Pro Bowls (and two All-Pro selections) speak to that.

To think that the Jets had two of the best centers not only in team history (that’s a given) but in NFL history with Mangold and Kevin Mawae is truly outstanding. That they had them back-to-back, from 1998-2016, is nothing short of remarkable.

It’s a matter of “if,” but “when” these two will take their rightful place in Canton, Ohio as inductees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The thing I’ll never forget with Mangold is the flowing golden locks and grizzly beard. Mangold just had this defined look about him. He was a beast on the field but a teddy bear off the gridiron.

Simply putting on his helmet seemed to transform him from a cuddly teddy bear into a ferocious grizzly.

It’s been said that you’re not supposed to know an offensive lineman’s name; that if he’s doing his job, his name is never mentioned. While that makes sense in theory, it was simply impossible to ignore Mangold and what he was doing on the field.

Whether it was throwing Vince Wilfork on his butt or beating everyone to the second level on a long run, Mangold was always the consistent heart and soul of this franchise.

He didn’t miss a game from 2006-2013—that’s Brett Favre-level ironman stuff. While he missed 10 games over his final three seasons due to multiple injuries, his ability to stay on the field—and maintain a high level of play—was nothing short of extraordinary.

But after sitting out this past season, it wasn’t surprising to see him officially retire on Tuesday morning.

Interestingly enough, his biggest regret was not bringing a Lombardi Trophy home to Florham Park. But that doesn’t mean he’s giving up on that goal. In fact, in his letter, he says that he’ll try to bring a championship to the Jets in a “different capacity,” though he admits he has no idea what that means—yet.

Maybe he’ll become a coach? A scout? A member of the front office? Seeing Mangold in a suit and tie isn’t something I or most Jets fans ever envisioned. Perhaps we’ll see a business up front, party in the back hairstyle for Mangold?

That’d be something.

New York Jets

Can you name the five jerseys the Jets have retired?

I’ll give you a hint: They’re all double-digit numbers.

Give up?

  • No. 12: Joe Namath
  • No. 13: Don Maynard
  • No. 28: Curtis Martin
  • No. 73: Joe Klecko
  • No. 90: Dennis Byrd

I think it’s safe to say that Mangold deserves to be the sixth member of that exclusive club.

He spent 11 marvelous seasons in green and white, a phenomenal career that gave the Jets stability up front for more than a decade. It didn’t matter who he was snapping the ball to—a youngster like Mark Sanchez or a vet like Favre—he gave his all on every play.

Mangold will address the press and fans on Tuesday, April, 24, as he officially signs a one-day contract to retire as a Jet.

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