FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Nick Mangold has no plans to call it a career.
The New York Jets center faces an uncertain playing future, but retiring is far from his thoughts despite an injury-filled 11th NFL season that ended three weeks ago when he was placed on injured reserve.
“Shoot, I love football,” said Mangold, speaking to reporters Wednesday for the first time since being shut down. “I miss it dearly, so I’m planning on playing.”
Mangold played in eight games after spraining his right ankle against Baltimore on Oct. 23, suffering a setback in his rehabilitation a few weeks later, then re-injuring it against Indianapolis on Dec. 5. He’ll know in two or three weeks whether the ankle will require surgery, but has been told it shouldn’t keep him from being ready for the start of training camp next summer if he does have a procedure.
Mangold wouldn’t go into detail about the nature of the injury.
“It’s all doctor speak,” he said. “My foot hurts and I’m trying to make it not hurt.”
Mangold, who turns 33 on Jan. 13, is scheduled to count $9.075 million against the Jets’ salary cap next season. New York could save the full amount if it cuts the seven-time Pro Bowl selection during the offseason. Wesley Johnson, scheduled to be a restricted free agent, has been mostly solid in Mangold’s place. He could be a cheaper and younger option — he’ll turn 26 on Jan. 9 — if the Jets decide to move on from Mangold.
Mangold added that “of course” he’d like to remain with the Jets, but declined to say whether he’d be open to taking a pay cut if the team asks him to do so.
“I figure we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Mangold said. “I want to keep playing football, and I want to do it here. When that time comes, we’ll talk about it.”
Mangold, a first-round pick in 2006, has no doubts that if he can get healthy he can return to the high level of performance he has played at for much of his career.
“Yeah,” he said. “I have no qualms about that.”
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