On Saturday afternoon, the New York Jets released center Nick Mangold. Mangold had been the center for the team since the team selected him in the first round of the 2006 season. Mangold is a three time All-Pro, and was named to seven Pro Bowls.
New York Jets Cut Nick Mangold
Despite being one of the NFL’s best centers for most of his career, Mangold has clearly begun to regress with age. In 2016, he was Pro Football Focus’ 25th best center, mostly because he missed eight games with a bad ankle. But the decline of his play might not be the biggest reason he was cut.
By releasing Mangold, the New York Jets save around nine million dollars in cap space. He’s not the same player that he was between 2006 and 2014 anymore. As the Jets continue to attempt to rebuild, they can’t afford to keep the dead weight.
Time Waits For No Man
The sad reality is that Nick Mangold is 33 years old, and time waits for no man. As is the case with their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and their star wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, the Jets need to start looking to younger players to produce.
Wesley Johnson filled in for Mangold when he was injured this season, and there’s no question that he struggled. He played well in spots, but perhaps the New York Jets should consider bringing in an inexpensive veteran to help him. In fact, it wouldn’t be too crazy to think the New York Jets might consider bringing Nick Mangold back at the right price.
Draft and Free Agency
Joe Hawley and Cody Wallace are both adequate centers that should be relatively inexpensive free agents. Ethan Pocic out of LSU is this draft’s best center prospect, and most mock drafts have him being available in the second and third round, should the Jets decide to go that way.