The New England Patriots made a rare move Thursday night and unveiled part of their offseason coaching plan, which heavily involves linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.
Mayo and the Patriots have “begun contract extension discussions” that aim to keep the de facto co-defensive coordinator in New England for the “long-term,” the organization said in a statement. Subsequent reporting indicated that while a deal for Mayo wasn’t done yet, it was getting closer to the finish line.
But one NFL insider pumped the brakes on Mayo, who the Carolina Panthers reportedly requested to interview for their head coaching vacancy, sticking around with the Patriots. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the door isn’t closed on Mayo joining the Panthers.
“The Panthers have been working on getting Jerod Mayo in to interview for their HC job early next week,” Breer tweeted late Thursday night. “That interview hasn’t been called off yet. There’s still mutual interest in making that happen.”
It feels like it is in the Patriots’ best interests to act fast with Mayo with a Panthers interview reportedly still on the books, which is maybe why they uncharacteristically released the statement revealing their intentions with the up-and-coming coach.
Mayo, who joined New England’s coaching staff in 2019, hasn’t hidden his aspirations to become an NFL head coach.
The 36-year-old may still have that opportunity with the Panthers, and even with the Patriots in the future with the organization’s statement fueling the speculation that Mayo, if he stays in New England, could take over for Bill Belichick once he retires.