BERNARDSVILLE, N.J. — Nick Mangold still hasn’t given up on playing in 2017.
But whether the former Jets center will get an opportunity to suit up remains to be seen.
“I’m just rehabbing, trying to get right, trying to get ready,” Mangold told Newsday on Monday before walking onto the golf course at Willie Colon’s charity outing for lupus research.
Mangold, 33, visited with the Baltimore Ravens in April but left without a deal. Asked if he has completely ruled out retirement, the seven-time Pro Bowler said, “We’re still trying to see what the options are.”
Several former Jets and Steelers teammates showed up to support Colon’s event, including quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Michael Vick and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Current Jets linebacker David Harris also attended.
Fitzpatrick declined to talk to the four reporters in attendance but did give an interview to SNY.
The Jets parted ways with Fitzpatrick, 34, after the 2016 season. He went 3-8 as the starter and was benched twice.
“That’s the game, man,” Colon said, referring to Fitzpatrick’s struggles after a career year (31 touchdown passes) in 2015. “It’s hard. It’s a cold, hard life. But I tell you what: As much as he went through — and probably he can admit that some of that was his fault — he stands up and takes it on the chin. He never runs from it, and that’s what I admire most about him. For him to be here, knowing the media’s going to be here, it means a lot to me.”
Colon thinks Mangold, who was released this offseason, still has “a lot left in the tank.”
“It’s tough because I’m so happy for [new center] Wesley Johnson. I know his story and what he’s been through,” said the former right guard, who now appears on SNY.
“For him to get this opportunity, I know he’s ready,” Colon added. “On the flip side with Nick, he will forever be a Jet. Whether he retires now or whenever, or whatever next helmet he puts on, he’s always going to be remembered as a Jet. I’m always grateful for what he did for me in my career, being an old guy who was probably on the back end of his career, but he stood by me and it was great playing alongside of him.”