Jerod Mayo

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Bills, Pats

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross created a bit of a stir on Monday when he said, per Jeff Ostrowski of the Palm Beach Post, “After three years, if we haven’t made the playoffs, we’re looking for a new coach. That’s just the way it is. The fans want it.” However, Ross associates tell Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald that the owner was referring to general NFL trends, not specifically addressing Adam Gase’s situation in Miami.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • The Bills could use their franchise tag on left tackle Cordy Glenn at some point during the next two weeks, but if they do, it will essentially cancel out the cap space they’d save by releasing Mario Williams, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com details. Buffalo could make that swap work, but the team would need to make additional moves to clear cap room for other offseason business.
  • The Patriots re-hired Dante Scarnecchia as offensive line coach, a source confirmed to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Scarnecchia retired after the 2013 season but he has remained around the Pats, particularly to help with evaluating offensive line prospects in the draft. Scarnecchia had retired after 32 seasons in the NFL, 30 of which came in New England.
  • Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo does not currently have plans to coach, Albert Breer of NFL.com tweets. Instead, Mayo will focus on some business interests. On Tuesday, Mayo announced his retirement from the NFL.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Patriots LB Jerod Mayo Announces Retirement

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has announced his retirement via Instagram. The post is titled, “Retiring a Patriot.”Jerod Mayo (vertical)

[RELATED: 2016 Proven Performance Escalators] 

After a lot of thought, 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 eight years,” Mayo wrote. “We are extremely grateful to “Thundercat,” Jonathan, the Kraft family, Coach 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.”

Mayo, who has been with the Patriots since he was selected 10th overall in the 2008 draft, saw his role reduced this season. After starting all but two of his 87 regular season games in the first seven years of his NFL career, Mayo started only eight of 16 games in 2015, appearing in just over 400 defensive snaps. His 47 tackles represented a new career low. In January, Mayo was placed on season-ending IR.

The linebacker, 30 next week, saw injuries derail his last few seasons. He appeared in just 12 of 32 regular-season contests in 2013 and 2014 before staying healthy for most of this year. With Mayo retiring, the Patriots will save $7MM while carrying $4.4MM in dead money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/22/16

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • The Steelers signed cornerback Ross Cockrell to a one-year extension, Teresa Varley of Steelers.com reports. An exclusive-rights free agent, Cockrell will return to the Steelers for a second season after signing in Pittsburgh in 2015. The 24-year-old corner started in seven Steelers games this season after the 2014 fourth-round pick was a non-factor with the Bills as a rookie. Cockrell snared two interceptions and deflected 11 passes this season.
  • The Patriots promoted linebacker Kevin Snyder to their active roster, Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal tweets. The 23-year-old UDFA hasn’t played in an NFL game yet. Jerod Mayo landed on IR earlier this week, and Snyder’s promotion fills that roster spot. New England also listed 16 players — including linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jonathan Freeny and Darius Fleming — as questionable for its AFC championship matchup in Denver this week.

Patriots Place Jerod Mayo On Injured Reserve

After leaving Saturday’s game against the Chiefs with a shoulder injury, linebacker Jerod Mayo won’t return to action for the Patriots this season. According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), New England is placing the veteran defender on injured reserve.Jerod Mayo

Mayo, who has been with the Patriots since he was selected 10th overall in the 2008 draft, saw his role reduced this season. After starting all but two of his 87 regular season games in the first seven years of his NFL career, Mayo started only eight of 16 games in 2015, appearing in just over 400 defensive snaps. His 47 tackles represented a new career low.

Mayo, who will turn 30 next month, has seen injuries derail his last few seasons — he appeared in just 12 of 32 regular-season contests in 2013 and 2014 before staying healthy for most of this year. His declining production and increasingly shaky health may ultimately lead to the end of his time with the Pats.

Heading into 2016, Mayo projects to have the Patriots’ second-highest cap number behind Tom Brady, and he almost certainly won’t be back at that price. The final two seasons of Mayo’s contract are option years, and the Pats figure to turn down that option this winter before the linebacker’s $4MM bonus is due in March. He’ll become a free agent unless the two sides can work out a new deal – with a reduced salary – for him to remain in New England.

It’s not clear yet who the Patriots will sign or promote to their active roster to replace Mayo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Mayo, Pats, Welker

While there’s virtually no way he’ll return to the Patriots on his current contract, linebacker Jerod Mayo‘s time in New England may not be over after this season, says Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. In his latest mailbag, Howe suggests that if Mayo can get healthy, it’s possible he and the Pats could work out a reworked contract to bring him back. In my look last week at the Patriots’ 2016 cap situation, I identified Mayo as the team’s most likely cap casualty.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • If you’re a fan of the Steelers, Cowboys, Chargers, Ravens, or Packers, and you feel like your team has had worse-than-usual injury luck this year, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com is inclined to agree. In his latest piece, Seifert identifies those five teams as the ones that have been hit hardest by injuries this season.
  • The Giants are scheduled to work out free agent linebacker Alex Singleton next Tuesday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Singleton, who was waived by the Seahawks prior to the regular season, has also auditioned for the Chiefs, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, and Washington this year.
  • According to reports from Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links), Wes Welker‘s new one-year deal with the Rams includes a $200K signing bonus to go along with a base salary worth approximately $456K (prorated total of $970K). The veteran wideout can also earn up to $200K in per-game roster bonuses ($25K per game), plus another $100K via catch- and yard-based incentives.

East Notes: Mayo, Kendricks, Jets

A look at the AFC and NFC East..

  • Jerod Mayo‘s reworked three-year deal with the Patriots calls for $4.5MM guaranteed with a $3MM bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). He has a $1.5MM guaranteed base salary in 2015 and a chance to earn $1.8MM through incentives. Mayo (link) has $11.4MM 2016 cap figure under the new pact with a $3.25MM base and a $4MM roster bonus (due first day of league year) in his option year.
  • Mychael Kendricks plans to be back in Philly with the Eagles in a few weeks, assuming he still plays there, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets.
  • The Jets have been more active than any other team, calling around about potentially trading up and down as they explore all options, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • The Jets worked out defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick today, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Jerod Mayo, Pats Agree To Reworked Deal

Longtime Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo will remain in New England after the two sides agreed to a reworked contract that reduces the veteran’s cap hit. Mike Gafarolo of Fox Sports first reported that Mayo and the Pats were finalizing a new deal, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeting that an agreement has been reached.

Mayo’s previous contract with the Pats called for a $6.25MM base salary in 2015, and cap numbers averaging about $10MM for the next three years, through 2017. According to Rapoport (Twitter links), the new pact is a one-year contract that includes $4.5MM in guaranteed money. That amount is equivalent to the injury guarantee New England would have owed the 29-year-old if the club had cut him before he was deemed healthy.

Mayo will have a chance to earn $6MM this year, while the Pats will hold a pair of option years on the deal. If New England elects to pick up those option years, the club would owe the linebacker a $4MM bonus before free agency.

After earning his second Pro Bowl berth following a 2012 campaign in which he racked up 147 tackles and forced four fumbles, Mayo battled injuries, playing just six regular season games in each of the last two years. After tearing a pectoral muscle in 2013, the former first-round pick suffered a torn patella tendon during an October game against the Bills in 2014, prematurely ending his season.

AFC Links: Raiders, Thomas, Patriots, McPhee

Following news that the Raiders and Chargers proposed a shared Los Angeles stadium, there were rumors that Raiders owner Mark Davis was using the move as leverage for a new stadium in Oakland. The owner didn’t necessarily confirm that rumor, but he did acknowledge that he’d like to keep the organization in it’s current location (via Vic Tafur of SFChronicle.com):

“That’s our No. 1 priority, to stay in Oakland, always has been and will continue to be,” Davis said. “We’re really trying to stay, and now there’s a great opportunity in Los Angeles. We need to get something done.”

Davis also touched on his relationship with Alex Spanos, the Chargers owner:

“My dad helped Alex (Spanos) get in the league, and while we have been fierce rivals on the field, we have common philosophies and goals,” Davis said. “And we have the same need. We are the two California teams that need a stadium.

“Together, we may be able to get it done.”

Let’s take a look at more rumors from the AFC…

  • As each day goes by, it sounds increasingly unlikely that Julius Thomas will return to the Broncos. Similar to many free agent departures, fingers are already being pointed, and the tight end’s agent believes the organization is to blame. “The Broncos came to me, we tried to get it done, it didn’t work,” said Frank Bauer (via Mike Klis of The Denver Post). “Does Julius love Denver? Yes. Does Julius love the fans there? No question. Does he love the organization and the community? Look at what he does for kids in that town…But for some reason people are trying to tear him down. In my opinion what they’re doing by tearing him down is pushing him away.”
  • While Patriots running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are set to hit the open market, the team has plenty of depth to compensate for their potential departure. Among that group would be Tyler Gaffney, who missed last season while recovering from an ACL injury. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe believes the team stashed Gaffney for a reason, and he’ll be given every chance to make the team’s roster in 2015 (Twitter links).
  • Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower underwent shoulder surgery this past week and is expected to miss anywhere from six to seven months. Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that the injury could have an impact on negotiations with veteran Jerod Mayo and his $10MM cap hit for 2015.
  • It was anticipated that Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee would be a commodity in free agency, and ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure tweets that the 26-year-old is going to be more expensive than anticipated.

Patriots Links: Revis, McCourty, Gostkowski

Only time will tell if Darrelle Revis is forced into a 2015 year with the Patriots and if there are any fireworks along the way, but the cornerback’s last two deals should serve as a cautionary tale about the negative trade-offs that can happen when agreeing to certain contract structures, writes Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com. In Revis’ agreement with the Bucs, he got the $16MM AAV he was after, but had no guaranteed money. In his Pats deal, Revis’ camp agreed to a second year that would carry a $25MM cap hit, assuming that the team would never keep him on board at that price. However, a $20MM salary for 2015 – and $32MM over two years – isn’t ridiculous when compared to what guys like Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and Richard Sherman are making in the first two seasons of their respective contracts.

Let’s round up a few more items out of New England….

  • Of the potential free agents on the Patriots’ roster, the two who seem most likely to be hit with the franchise tag – if the team uses it – are safety Devin McCourty and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. However, McCourty is the more probable candidate, WEEI’s Ryan Hannable writes, though Hannable speculates that the Pats could give the safety the tag a few days in advance of the deadline in hopes of working out a long-term deal.
  • In a video segment, a CSNNE panel debates whether retaining Revis is worth potentially losing other free agent starters like McCourty, Gostkowski, and Dan Connolly, with Andy Hart suggesting that New England needs to keep its star cornerback “at all costs.”
  • In a separate CSNNE video segment, Ron Borges suggests that both Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork will be asked to take pay cuts and “may not be happy about it.” That applies especially to Wilfork, who accepted a pay cut last year and had a strong season.
  • After capturing another Super Bowl ring, the Pats have proven they don’t need to spend a ton of money on an elite receiving weapon, says Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com (video link).
  • The 2011 collective bargaining agreement calls for teams to spend at least 89% of the salary cap in cash over two four-year periods (2013-16 and 2017-20), and the Patriots are one of 10 teams that must increase spending over the next couple years to meet that threshold, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Considering all the free-agents-to-be that the club is working to retain, using most or all of its cap room shouldn’t be a problem for New England in 2015.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Mayo, Van Pelt, Raiders

The NFL Players Association has formally filed a grievance against the league challenging the NFL’s new personal conduct policy, which was adopted in December despite the NFLPA’s objections, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The union contends that it didn’t have an opportunity to collectively bargain many key points of the new policy, arguing that the policy violates the CBA and that it was adopted “without the consent, and over the objections, of the NFLPA.”

While we wait to see what comes of the union’s grievance, let’s round up several items from across the NFL….

  • Injured Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has been prioritizing his rehabilitation after a season-ending knee injury, and fully intends to get back on the field in 2015, but he has also developed an interest in coaching during his time spent on injured reserve, writes Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I’m just trying to learn as much as I can,” Mayo said. “If I do choose to go down that road, hopefully I can apply some of these principles that I’ve learned from coach [Bill] Belichick in my coaching career.”
  • While a previous report revealed the Packers turned down the Rams’ request to speak to Alex Van Pelt about their offensive coordinator job, St. Louis wasn’t the only team rebuffed by Green Bay. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the Jaguars and Bears were also denied permission to interview Van Pelt.
  • The Raiders have officially confirmed a handful of new additions to Jack Del Rio’s staff, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Todd Downing (QB coach), Marcus Robertson (DB coach), Sal Sunseri (LB coach), and Mike Tice (OL coach).
  • The Jets also announced several new assistants in addition to their new coordinators. According to the team, Mike Caldwell (assistant HC/ILB coach), Mark Collins (OLB coach), Joe Danna (DB/S coach), and Karl Dorrell (WR coach) are among the new arrivals.
  • Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey isn’t phased by the fact that 2015 could be a make-or-break season for him and head coach Joe Philbin, suggesting that he approaches every season as if it’s make-or-break, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
  • The Texans have made some front office changes, promoting Jon Carr to director of college scouting and hiring Matt Jansen to the new position of college scouting coordinator, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links).
  • We learned yesterday that Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett met with the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl, but Miami is far from the only team to interview Lockett. The wideout, who is generating plenty of buzz in Mobile, tells James Walker of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he spoke to 28 NFL teams this week.