FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets on Saturday released Nick Mangold, the longest-tenured member of the team.
An 11-year pro and a leader in the locker room, Mangold, 33, has said he doesn’t plan to retire.
A first-round draft pick in 2006 who played his entire career with the Jets, Mangold is a two-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.
“While this is a sad day to leave so many great coaches, teammates and executives, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me,” Mangold said. “I truly want to thank the fans for their amazing support over the past 11 years. It means a lot to see all the #74 jerseys in the crowd every Sunday. Thank you all for a fantastic 11 years!”
Releasing its longest-tenured player saves just under New York $9.1 million against the salary cap.
Mangold missed eight games last season with an ankle injury, which he said made him want to play in 2017. In December, he told The Associated Press: “Shoot, I love football. I miss it dearly, so I’m planning on playing.”
The Jets have had two regular starting centers since 1998: Kevin Mawae (1988-2005), a Hall of Fame finalist this year, and Mangold (2006-2016).
His likely replacement is Wesley Johnson, who filled in last year when Mangold was hurt. But Johnson is a restricted free agent.