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Super Bowl LII: Former Jets center Nick Mangold ‘kind of not closing the door’ on return

Nick Mangold speaks with a reporter during Jets

Nick Mangold speaks with a reporter during Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center onAug. 21, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Nick Mangold hasn’t completely closed the door on playing again, but that door may be open only a crack after he missed the 2017 season following his release by the Jets.

“I’m kind of not closing the door, but I’m not actively searching for anything right now,” said Mangold, who made media appearances Thursday on Radio Row in advance of Super Bowl LII.

Mangold, 34, who was dealing with a foot injury from the 2016 season, was released by the Jets last offseason in a sweeping roster overhaul that also claimed veterans Darrelle Revis, Breno Giacomini, David Harris and Brandon Marshall. He was upset that the Jets didn’t even offer a renegotiated contract but no longer harbors such ill will.

“It was definitely different,” said Mangold, the Jets’ first-round pick in 2006. “I was in Disney [when he got the call about being released], so the happiest place on Earth made it a little better. It’s smoothed out over time, but it’s difficult. My son, he would be a 7-year-old die-hard Jets fan. He was running around the house with Jets T-shirts. So it took some time. But like my wife said, she gained a Sunday [during the regular season] and I gained a month [in August]. It’s been 15 years since I hadn’t been playing in August.”

Mangold said he could have played at some point last season.

“Maybe midseason, but by that point, it’s the middle of the season, you’ve missed the whole offseason when you get to know people,” he said. “[The foot] still wasn’t right. It was one of those things where I probably could have gone out there and played, but I wouldn’t be playing up to my standards. I wouldn’t want to go out there stealing checks, so that’s why I didn’t go for it, because I wouldn’t have been playing at my level.”

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