Is Nick Mangold hinting at a return to the NY Jets?

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By: Geoff Magliocchetti

Mangold appears to be throwing his hat into the green ring

Unlike a box of chocolates, you know exactly what you’ll get when it comes to Nick Mangold.

The unapologetic New York sports supporter, durable offensive lineman, and all-around modern New York Jets legend hasn’t let retirement remove the green from his system. Mangold has lingered in the Jets organization since his 11-season playing career spent entirely with the team ended in 2016, mostly serving as a face of several New York projects, such as its international endeavors or showcasing the team’s new uniforms in Bud Light Seltzer commercials. 

Mangold already holds a permanent game day presence at MetLife Stadium, having been inducted into the Jets’ Ring of Honor in September. But is there a chance he could linger in a more physical role? Recent social media activity hints that he’s at least interested.

The Jets’ first offseason transactions have bid several assistant coaches farewell from Robert Saleh’s staff, including offensive line coach and run-game coordinator John Benton. That news reached Mangold fairly quickly and he responded on Twitter by quoting Saleh’s official announcement of Benton’s departure with a GIF of Tom Hanks’ titular character from “Forrest Gump” waving.

The replies to Mangold’s drop-in are filled with almost unanimous nods of approval, a list that includes former Jets teammate and current Los Angeles Ram Oday Aboushi.

The Jets’ offensive line has failed to find any solid footing or consistency since the respective departures of the center Mangold and his blind side teammate D’Brickashaw Ferguson. With several young skill players enjoying statistical breakouts in a rollercoaster 2022-23 season (i.e. Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson) and yet another quarterback controversy brewing, the team is looking to put a firm end to its blocking woes. Many presume that the team will use the 13th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft to help solve such woes while injured young prospects Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker continue to rehab in pursuit of a comeback this fall.

Mangold’s coaching experiences are limited to youth football but the Jets are likely searching for any help they can get as they hope to cash in on a prime offensive opportunity, one that will mean nothing if they can’t protect their backfield representatives. Time will tell if they prove, for lack of a better term, desperate enough to take up Mangold on his offer.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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