Nick Mangold Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Center, Inks Seven-Year Deal with Jets

Nick Mangold Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Center, Inks Seven-Year Deal with Jets FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Nick Mangold got the big deal he was looking for and a new label that might make Darrelle Revis envious.

The New York Jets' two-time Pro Bowl center became the highest-paid player at his position Tuesday, signing a seven-year deal with the New York Jets that could be worth up to $55 million.

"To be able to say, 'the highest-paid center' is very nice to hear," Mangold said. "It worked out well for both sides."

The deal includes over $22 million in guarantees against injury, a person with knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team did not announce details of the deal.

"Signed, sealed and delivered," a smiling Mangold said.

The All-Pro center was scheduled to earn $3.3 million in the final year of his five-year rookie deal. The contract surpasses the one inked last year by St. Louis center Jason Brown, whose five-year contract was worth $37.5 million, including $20 million guaranteed.

"It wasn't a sticking point and I'm very fortunate that the Jets decided to go that route," Mangold said of being the league's highest-paid center. "I'm very appreciative and excited to have that. I'm sure next year some young gun will come along and blow me out of the water anyway, and that's A-OK in my book."

Meanwhile, Revis missed his 24th day since the team reported for training camp while in a bitter contract dispute. He wants to become the league's highest-paid cornerback, a distinction that belongs to Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed a three-year, $45.3 million extension last offseason.

"That's on some other people," Mangold said of Revis' situation. "I'm not getting involved in that one."

Unlike Revis, Mangold reported for training camp despite being disappointed with the lack of progress of the negotiations. He said owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum approached him two weeks ago about completing a deal.

"I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't getting done coming into camp," Mangold said. "Now that it is done, I haven't really wrapped my head around it yet, but I'm very excited that it is."

Mangold was a first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2006, and quickly became regarded around the league as one of the game's best at his position. He anchored an offensive line last season that paved the way for the NFL's top rushing offense.

"It's a huge move for the organization," quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "He's the best. He's going to be compensated that way, and should be."

Coach Rex Ryan held Mangold out of team drills in practice Monday, knowing his star player was about to finalize his deal a few hours later.

"He's like, 'What?' and I'm like, 'Yes, stay out. You're going to get this deal signed,'" Ryan said. "I'd hate for him to step in a hole or something like that."

Mangold appreciated the gesture, especially with the threat of injury anytime a player steps on the field.

"As close as it was, I'd shoot myself if something happened," he said. "I've never gone through it before, never gone through a situation of having a contract right there, ready to be signed. I just wanted to play it safe, as best I could."

The deal can keep the 26-year-old Mangold with the Jets through the 2017 season.

"That's fantastic not to even have to think about it," he said. "You just go along with the way I've been able to go along the past four years. It's something I never had to think of before and I'm glad I don't have to think about it anymore."

The Jets have now signed two of their four key, young players to long-term deals. New York gave Pro Bowl left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson a six-year deal for $60 million last month.

Other than Revis, linebacker David Harris is also looking for a new contract, but has acknowledged he won't get his until after this season because of constraints due to the current collective bargaining agreement.

"It's out of my hands and a lot of other people's hands," said Harris, in the last year of his rookie deal. "That's the rules and you've got to live by them."

After seeing Mangold get his big deal, Harris held no resentment toward him.

"He's earned it, and I'm happy for him," he said. "I've just got to be patient and see how everything plays out with the labor talks."

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