Former New York Jets center Nick Mangold, one of the NFL's most decorated offensive linemen during his 11-year run with the team, announced his retirement Tuesday morning on Twitter.
Mangold, 34, who sat out last season after being released by the Jets in February 2017, will sign a one-day contract April 24 and retire as a Jet.
Known for his sense of humor, Mangold began his tweet: "I DECLARE RETIREMENNNTTTTTTT!" He went on to recount his career, saying he was "hooked" on football from his first practice as a pee wee player in Ohio.
"Everything that happened from pee-wee football to high school football to having the good fortune to play at The Ohio State University molded me for my opportunity to play for the New York Jets," said Mangold, who specifically thanked owner Woody Johnson and the coach-general manager tandem who drafted him in 2006, Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum.
"In my 11 years as a Jet, there were plenty of ups and downs but, through it all, I wanted to be the Steady Eddie," Mangold continued. "I wanted to be the guy that other guys looked at to see how it was done. I learned this attribute from the vets that I played with.
"My biggest regret is not bringing the Lombardi Trophy to New York but, as I retire, I will continue my efforts to bring the Trophy home in a different capacity. I have no idea what that capacity is but I'm sure I will figure something out in the future."
The Jets drafted him 29th overall in 2006, using the pick they acquired in a trade that sent John Abraham to the Atlanta Falcons. Mangold was an immediate starter and went on to a stellar career, receiving seven Pro Bowl honors and twice being named a first-team All-Pro.
Mangold played in 164 games, missing only 12 -- including eight in his final season. He suffered a serious foot and ankle injury in 2016 that put him on injured reserve.
As part of a massive roster overhaul, Mangold was released last offseason. He said he was blindsided by the move, later revealing on social media that he was at Disney World when he received the call from the Jets.
In subsequent interviews, Mangold admitted that the sting lingered for a year. The only team to show interest in signing him was the Baltimore Ravens, but he decided to turn down the opportunity, saying his injury still hadn't healed properly.
In an interview at the most recent Super Bowl, Mangold hinted that retirement was a possibility.
"I remember the night before my first pee-wee practice like it happened yesterday," he said in his retirement statement Tuesday. "The unknown, the excitement, and the small ball of nervous energy that sits in your stomach were all present that night. Those same feelings would stick with me every fall for the next 23 years. What I didn't know way back in 1993 is how much football would end up meaning to me and how it would shape my life."