One of the more recognizable names still on the free agency list in the NFL offseason is Nick Mangold, who played at center for the New York Jets 11 seasons. Now he’s on the market, with the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants his most serious options.
While the Giants and Mangold have had a bit of discussions after he was cut by the Jets at the end of February, his more serious connection is to the Ravens. Several media outlets are reporting that the Ravens and Mangold have been holding contract discussions for some time, although right now there seem to be money issues getting in the way of the 33-year old signing with the Ravens. The Ravens have only $3.8 million in cap space heading into the 2017 season, but things get better in 2018 with over $22 million free to use.
Mangold is important for the Ravens plans to get back into the playoffs after missing it in 3 of the 4 seasons since winning the Super Bowl. Jeremy Zuttah, their starter at center last season, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, and the group of Ryan Jensen, John Urschel and 4th round rookie Nico Siragusa don’t seem to be capable of holding down the position for an entire season; not at the level the Ravens are hoping to get from their interior line.
Mangold doesn’t seem to be carrying any injury issues from last season, when he missed 8 games, the first time in his career he’s missed so many games. From 2006 through 2015, Mangold played in 156 games for the Jets, missing only 4. He was one of the best centers in the NFL during that time, making 7 Pro Bowl games and selected to the first-team All-Pro two times, in 2009 and 2010. Mangold met with the Ravens in April to go through a medical, and it doesn’t look like they have any issues with the results. Now, it’s only a matter of finding the right figures so he can join them.