Cleveland Browns: Nick Mangold would be a solid option at center
Should the Cleveland Browns sign Nick Mangold? With his experience, the former Ohio State Buckeye could be a great option for the Browns at center.
The Cleveland Browns are in the market for a center. Centerville, Ohio native and former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Mangold was recently released by the New York Jets. Could this be a match made in heaven?
Nick Mangold tweeted that the Jets would be releasing him “shortly”.
Jets owner Woody Johnson released a statement shortly thereafter on the team’s website. He stated:
"For the past 11 years, Nick Mangold has been a cornerstone of our team both on and off the field. As our Pro Bowl center, Nick consistently demonstrated superior skill and unmatched toughness. Equally important, off the field, Nick exhibited respect, sensitivity and compassion for the causes he supported. It has been a privilege to have known Nick these many years and, for all of us, I say Nick will always be a Jet."
Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:
"He has one year left on his contract at a salary of $6.075 million. The Jets will carry $3 million in dead money under his name for 2017."
As Woody Johnson stated, Nick Mangold has been the cornerstone of the Jets offensive line for 11 seasons. He was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times. Unfortunately for the Jets and Mangold, he injured his ankle during a Week 7 matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens that ultimately ended his 2016 season.
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For the Cleveland Browns, a player of Nick Mangold’s quality would be an excellent bridge veteran at the center position.
Center was the black hole of death for the Browns. Cam Erving’s play failed to inspire confidence that he would be the long-term solution at the position. Austin Reiter played well for one game, but an unfortunate injury derailed his season. Anthony Fabiano held down the center position Week 17, but his play was average showing no signs that he could be the long-term answer.
The Ohio State University graduate may be past his prime, but Nick Mangold’s play and veteran presence should be enough to stabilize the center position for the Browns. His presence should lock down the position while a new, preferably drafted, center can learn the position under his tutelage.
The main question for the Browns will be cost. Do they want to sink the type of money it will take to bring a big-name veteran like Nick Mangold to Cleveland? If the Browns can get a fair market deal for Mangold, it may be worth the investment – provided he is healthy.
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Is he the All-Pro player he used to be? Probably not. But the Browns do not need him to be the All-Pro player. They need him to teach the younger centers on the team how the position is played. If he can facilitate the transition to a new center happen, then it will be worth the money.