The Jets needed salary cap space. They released long-time center Nick Mangold to get it. So how's the team's cap situation looking now?NFL Scouting Combine: Who are the Jets watching?
By cutting Mangold, the Jets freed over $9 million in cap space. According to OverTheCap.com, the Jets now $16.446 million under the projected team salary cap of $168 million. The total is the 28th most in the NFL.
While the Jets do have a little wiggle room, more moves are undoubtedly coming. The Jets can free an additional $28 million by releasing receiver Brandon Marshall, cornerback Darrelle Revis, linebacker David Harris and safety Marcus Gilchrist.
Combined with their current cap space, the Jets would sit with with just under $45 million.
General manager Mike Maccagnan will surely use some of these now-available funds to fortify the offensive line. Aside from Mangold, the Jets have declined the contract option of left tackle Ryan Clady, and released right tackle Breno Giacomini. That leaves just guards James Carpenter and Brian Winters under contract heading into next season.
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Center Wesley Johnson, who filled in for an injured Mangold last season, is a restricted free agent. At the minimum, the Jets are expected to tender him before free agency starts March 9th.
Mangold, 33, had been the Jets' center since they drafted him in Round 1 in 2006. He is a future Ring of Honor member for them. He started 164 of 176 possible regular season games during his 11 years with the Jets. He made seven Pro Bowls and twice was a first-team All-Pro selection (2009 and 2010). But a nagging ankle injury limited him to eight games last year.
Mangold said after last season that he did not want to retire.
"Shoot, I love football," he said. "I miss it dearly. I'm planning on playing. I want to keep playing football, and I want to do it here [with the Jets]."
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