The Jets will honor three former players throughout this season by adding them to the team’s Ring of Honor.
Nick Mangold, who was the glue of Gang Green’s offensive line for 11 seasons, will be the first player honored.
Mangold, who played for the Jets from 2006 until 2016, will officially be the 19th person to enter the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Oct. 30 against the Patriots) and cornerback Darrelle Revis (Nov. 27 against the Bears) will also be added later this season.
Mangold said he learned about the honor during the spring, but it didn’t hit home for him until the Jets’ recent kickoff luncheon.
“It’s been a process until now of really coming to grips of what it means to the family,” Mangold said at a press conference Wednesday. “It’s really special and I’m really excited about it.
“There’s emotion in it as there’s a lot of people I want to mention and it is a little tricky leaving those in and out. Just the lead-up, the amount of people I have coming in, it is fantastic.
“It is going to be nerve-racking until halftime and then after halftime, we will enjoy ourselves.”
After he was drafted No. 29 overall out of Ohio State, Mangold was named to seven Pro Bowls, which is the second most of any Jets offensive linemen behind Hall of Fame tackle Winston Hill (8). Mangold was also named All-Pro twice during his Jets career.
Those years were highlighted by Gang Green’s two consecutive runs to the AFC championship game before losing to the Indianapolis Colts (2009) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (’10).
During his first 10 seasons, Mangold started and played in 163 of the team’s 167 games (regular and postseason) from 2006-15. After a lingering ankle injury, Mangold was limited to eight games in 2016 and was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
He officially announced his retirement a year later after spending the 2017 season out of football after being released by the team. He signed a one-day deal in 2018 to formally retire as a Jet.
Not only will Mangold be inducted into the Jets’ Ring of Honor, but on Tuesday he was announced as one of 129 Modern-Era Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.
Even with all his success during his career, Mangold says he doesn’t miss the game of football itself.
“It was the guys that I was with,” Mangold said. “People always asked, do I miss it? Honestly, I don’t miss the physical game of football.
“I do miss the locker room, I do miss hanging out. You can’t replicate that anywhere else. I think that’s a big thing, the guys in the locker room and the ups and downs.
“We had some great highs even though we didn’t finish it the way we wanted to, it was still a lot of fun in those runs. I enjoyed my 11 years here and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Despite ending his career five years ago, he still follows the Jets closely. He still lives down the street from the Jets facility and even watched some of the team’s 31-30 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Mangold was also at the team’s opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
While they’re coming off a 4-13 season, Mangold said he believes what the Jets are trying to build with coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas.
“I like Robert and what he’s doing,” Mangold said. “His message, the way he goes about it. I think in today’s day in age, everyone wants to snap their fingers and everything is fixed.
“But I feel like the way he’s going along with Joe Douglas and the direction they’re trying to build this thing as a culture and as a team long term and not just be able to do it for a year has me excited now as a Jet fan.”