Jerod Mayo ‘Could Never Play For Someone’ Other Than Patriots, Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick was especially grumpy Tuesday morning while meeting with the media at the NFL Annual Meeting, but he made sure to heap praise on retiring linebacker Jerod Mayo.

Belichick went as far as to say he’s “sure I learned a lot more from him than he did from me.” Mayo, while speaking to Patriots.com’s “PFW in Progress,” wasn’t so sure about that.

“I find that hard to believe,” Mayo said. “It’s a great compliment. Maybe about things in the locker room and things like that. Bill’s a great guy. They really don’t see him the same way that I see him, but he’s a great teacher, a great mentor, and not only about football, about becoming a man and being a pillar in the community.

“A lot of people don’t talk about that with Bill, but he does give back a lot. Any time I had a charity, he would sign something. He would ask me before I would ask him. ‘Hey do you need something for this?’ I try to use those principles now with my kids and with family. Hopefully I can use some of those principles that he used to lead these great football teams in the next aspect of my life.”

Mayo’s next venture won’t be in football but business. He plans to join Optum, a health services and innovation company.

Mayo, 30, was coming off three straight seasons that ended with him on injured reserve. His salary cap hit was going to be steep in 2016, and the Patriots’ 2008 first-round draft pick wasn’t interested in joining another team.

“I could never play for someone else. I told Bill that,” Mayo said. “If teams were calling, I would never go. I could never see myself playing for another team. I’m big into loyalty. … The Kraft family and Coach Belichick, they’ve always been loyal to me and I owe it to them. It hasn’t been about money. … It honestly was never really about the money after you finish that first contract. I just love the game of football. It’s all about relationships, I’ve formed some great relationships, from the people in the kitchen to the janitors and the coaches. I’ve always tried to treat everyone the same, leave a legacy of giving back.”

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo (51) following training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

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