The Patriots on Thursday night released a statement that was newsworthy, unprecedented — and also kinda confusing.
New England, in addition to announcing it will interview offensive coordinator candidates next week, said Bill Belichick was in contract extension talks with linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. The news arrived mere hours after the Carolina Panthers reportedly asked to interview Mayo for their head coaching vacancy.
However, the Patriots sent mixed messages about the Mayo extension talks.
The text in both the press release and the story on the team’s official website said Belichick and Mayo “have begun contract extension conversations.” But the header on the press release and title on the website story both said “Patriots to extend Jerod Mayo.”
Well, which one is it? Is Mayo’s extension done, or are negotiations ongoing?
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald offered insight Thursday night.
“Per source, the Patriots are still working through ‘some details’ with respect to Jerod Mayo’s contract extension,” Guregian tweeted. “So while it’s not done, it’s getting closer.”
Jeff Howe of The Athletic also said he expected Mayo’s extension to be completed in the near future.
Assuming Mayo indeed re-signs with the Patriots, the next question becomes: What job will he have?
The former Patriots linebacker has coached the position to varying degrees since 2019, recently serving as a de facto co-defensive coordinator with Steve Belichick. And multiple reports indicate Mayo, openly desiring an NFL head coaching job, entered the offseason prepared to leave the Patriots if he didn’t land the official DC title.
So, it stands to reason that Mayo could become New England’s official defensive coordinator, with Steve Belichick either staying as linebackers coach or moving to a different position. Moreover, it’s fair to wonder whether the Patriots have dissuaded Mayo from taking head coaching interviews by telling him he could succeed Bill Belichick. All of that is pure speculation, though.
In any event, we could gain additional clarity on Mayo’s situation as soon as Friday. As for the offensive coordinator interviews, next week figures to provide a steady stream of fascinating Patriots news.