NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Could former Jets center Nick Mangold’s next team be the U.S. House of Representatives?
Al Barlas, the Republican chairman in Essex County, told Politico that he’s been recruiting Mangold to run in the GOP primary to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Barlas said Mangold, 34, is “intrigued by the idea.”
“He has to think it over and talk with his wife,” Barlas said. “After an 11-year playing career and a college career, he’s enjoying being at home with his wife and kids.
“He’s a different candidate. He gives different name ID.”
So far, the only major Republican to declare his candidacy for the seat is Assemblyman Jay Webber.
New Jersey’s 11th District includes all or portions of Essex, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties. Mangold lives in Morris County, NJ.com reported.
The Jets great has publicly supported President Donald Trump and introduced him at rally in Ohio, his home state, in March 2016.
Mangold played 11 seasons for the Jets, was selected to seven Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro twice. He was part of the Jets’ purge of high-priced, veteran players following the 2016 season and, battling a lingering ankle injury, failed to catch on with another team.
Mangold certainly wouldn’t be the first former NFL star to serve in Congress. Others include ex-Bills quarterback Jack Kemp, former Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan, ex-Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler and Seahawks Hall of Famer Steve Largent.
Frelinghuysen, a Republican, announced last month that he won’t seek a 13th term this year.