For the first time in over a decade, the New York Jets need to find a center after the team released stalwart Nick Mangold on Saturday.
Mangold, 33, was a first-round pick for the Jets in the 2006 NFL Draft and played 11 seasons at the position for the team, earning trips to seven Pro Bowls. Prior to 2016, Mangold missed just four games in 10 seasons, but missed eight games last year due to an ankle injury.
The decision to release Mangold saved the Jets $9.075 million in cap space and puts the team in the market for a replacement.
"For the past 11 years, Nick Mangold has been a cornerstone of our team both on and off the field," Jets owner Woody Johnson said. "As our Pro Bowl center, Nick consistently demonstrated superior skill and unmatched toughness. Equally important, off the field, Nick exhibited respect, sensitivity and compassion for the causes he supported. It has been a privilege to have known Nick these many years and, for all of us, I say Nick will always be a Jet.”
Before the move was officially announced by the Jets, Mangold broke the news on Twitter:
When Mangold went out with injuries in 2016, former fifth-round pick Wesley Johnson stepped in to the starting lineup. Mangold finishes his career with the Jets with 164 starts.