After eight years with the Patriots, combined 803 tackles, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl ring Jerod Mayo is reportedly calling it quits. Injuries have plagued Mayo over the last three seasons after an illustrious start to his career in which he was drafted with the 10th overall selection and named NFL defensive rookie of the year in 2008. Mayo amassed over 100 combined tackles in four of his first five seasons missing the mark by just five tackles in 2011.
The linebacker announced his likely retirement in an social media post titled “Retiring a Patriot” which read as follows: “After a lot of thought [Mayo’s wife] Chantel and I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for what we consider a life changing event…..that of becoming a New England Patriot for the past 8 years. We are extremely grateful to ‘Thundercat’ [Patriots owner Robert Kraft], [Patriots president] Jonathan [Kraft], the Kraft family, Coach [Bill] Belichick, the Pats organization, and the most amazing fans in contributing to these pages of our lives. As my family and I prepare for the future be sure that the Pats memories will always hold a special place in our hearts. #51 JMayo.”
It seemed that due to the financial burden of his contract Mayo was unlikely to be kept on with the organization. Mayo was originally set to earn $3.25 million in 2016 and then $6.75 million in 2017 before hitting free agency on top of a roster bonus set for next month.
Mayo was named a team captain for seasons 2009-2015 and was considered the leader of the linebacker core for most of his time in Foxborough. He ended the last three seasons on injured reserve playing only six games in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons while playing all sixteen regular season games this year before getting hurt in the divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Number fifty-one leaves behind a solid legacy of great leadership at the linebacker position and leaves New England in the capable hands of Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jonathan Freeny.