Jets close to locking up offensive lineman

According to Manish Mehta of The Star-Ledger, the Jets are close to agreeing to terms with free agent center, Robby Felix.  The 6-3, 300 pound Felix spent last season playing for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL.

Felix went undrafted in last year’s draft after an impressive collegiate career at UTEP.  A four-year starter, the Corona, California native earned All-Conference USA honors in all four seasons.  As a senior, Felix was named to the All-Conference USA First Team.

However, after his final home game in El-Paso, the then 22-year-old Felix, suffered a stroke.  Originally slated as a second to third round pick, Felix went undrafted with many teams concerned about his health and if he would ever make a full recovery.

Felix will definitely get a chance to compete for a roster spot during the Jets’ training camp in Cortland, New York.   Currently, the Jets only have one natural center on the roster, Pro Bowler Nick Mangold.

More baby-steps for Sanchez

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has taken yet another small step in his recovery from left knee surgery.  Less than a week after he began running on a treadmill, Sanchez told ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini Wednesday that he is now jogging on turf.   The next step for the second-year quarterback will be to begin cutting and moving the rehabbed knee laterally.

Sanchez maintains that his goal is to be back in time for the team’s minicamp in mid-June.  “”I didn’t want to say anything in February because who knows what could’ve happened?” said Sanchez, speaking at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Wednesday.   “But that was absolutely my goal and I’ve been working hard every day to do that.”

Center Nick Mangold is optimistic that his quarterback will be out there for the start of minicamp on June 14.  “When you’re trying to get stuff done, it’s always helpful to have him out there,” he said. “I know he’s going to be out there moving around (at minicamp).  I don’t know in what capacity.   I know the competitive spirit in him won’t keep him sitting in the training room all day.”

More from Mangold

Entering the final year of his five-year contract, Nick Mangold is getting a bit ansy for an extension, according to Manish Mehta.

“I’d love to get something done before the season,” said Mangold on Wednesday. “It’s a security thing.”

Jets center Nick Mangold would like to get his contract extension done, preferably sooner than later. ( Photo)

“I’m not a bad guy,” said Mangold. “I don’t believe that I am. I like to believe that I do keep a good guy persona. That’s how I was raised and how I do things. But in the end, it’s still a business. You see that when people get released or brought in. … So I can’t be foolish when the time comes for whatever needs to be done business-wise. … It’s something that I think gets a lot of times overlooked when people are made out to be bad guys for whatever reason. For as much as we hear it’s a business on other side, it’s still a business on our side.”

Mangold is one of four Jets (Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson) looking to sign extensions within the next year.  A number of the moves the team made this off-season (cutting running back Thomas Jones, trading safety Kerry Rhodes and running back Leon Washington) have predicated on locking up these core players, long-term.

The 26-year-old Mangold, whom the Jets selected with their 29th overall pick in the 2006 Draft, has more than lived-up to the lofty expectations placed upon him.  Since his rookie season in ’06, Mangold has started all 64 games of his NFL career.   The five-year veteran has been a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons and an All-Pro selection in ’09.

Jets owner Woody Johnson has made it clear that the team will do everything in its power to keep Mangold in the green and white uniform.  “He’s one of our guys,” said Johnson. “The timing of all those (potential contract extensions) is difficult. We’re living with very tenuous rules in terms of who we can pay and how much we can do at this point. Within those rules, we’re trying to do the best job we can.”

Mangold wouldn’t mind sticking around either.

“It’s one of those things — love the team, love the area,” Mangold said. “You see how many people they got to get done. It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out.”
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