In a rare display of transparency, the New England Patriots on Thursday shared two major announcements about their 2023 coaching plans.
In a statement, the Patriots indicated head coach Bill Belichick has “begun contract extension discussions with Jerod Mayo that would keep him with the team long-term.”
Mayo, the team’s linebackers coach and de facto co-defensive coordinator, has received external interest from multiple teams, with the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers requesting to interview him for their DC and head coach vacancies, respectively.
Given his status as a rising head-coaching candidate, a Mayo extension likely would require a promotion for the 36-year-old former Patriots linebacker. He’s shared de facto coordinator duties with Steve Belichick for the last three seasons, with the latter calling plays.
The Patriots also announced they “will begin interviewing for offensive coordinator candidates beginning next week,” confirming Belichick is implementing new leadership on that side of the ball.
Belichick replaced accomplished former coordinator Josh McDaniels with a combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge this season, and New England fielded one of the NFL’s least efficient offenses while second-year quarterback Mac Jones regressed.
It’s unclear who the Patriots will target for that role, but ex-New England coordinator Bill O’Brien has been rumored as a prime candidate. Other potential options with Patriots ties include Kliff Kingsbury, Chad O’Shea, Zac Robinson and current tight ends coach Nick Caley.
Before hiring an official offensive coordinator, the Patriots would need to interview at least one minority candidate to fulfill the NFL’s Rooney Rule.
NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran on Wednesday reported Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft met after the season and agreed that “offensive coaching reassignments” were necessary. The Patriots posted an 8-9 record, finishing below .500 and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.