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What to make of the New England Patriots’ Jerod Mayo announcement

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The New England Patriots are set to overhaul their coaching staff following an ugly finish to the 2022 season.

Apparently, head coach Bill Belichick and Co. don’t want that to include losing defensive assistant Jerod Mayo.

With Mayo drawing interest from other clubs as a potential head coach, New England made the odd decision to announce on Thursday that it is negotiating a contract extension with the former linebacker.

Typically, teams don’t make an announcement about an extension until it is actually signed on the dotted line. New England could very well be signaling that it is prepared to give Mayo a huge raise in order to remain in his current position coaching linebackers while handling some of the play-calling duties.

A two-time Pro Bowler during his eight-year run with the Pats, Mayo has drawn interest as a potential head coach over the past two cycles. Most recently, the Carolina Panthers requested to interview him. The former Tennessee star just finished up his fourth season as an assistant under Belichick.

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What the Jerod Mayo announcement means for the New England Patriots

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If we were to look long-term, there’s certainly a chance that New England is preparing for Belichick’s departure at some point in the not-so-distant future.

While the six-time Super Bowl champion just recently announced he will be returning for a 24th season as New England’s head coach, there’s no telling how long this marriage is going to last. In fact, Belichick is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL at 70 years old.

New England knows that the status quo under Belichick is not working. However, a lot of that has to do with struggles on offense in 2022. Assistants Joe Judge and Matt Patricia shared play-calling duties last season. It was an absolute disaster with New England ranking dead last in red-zone offense.

Related: Jerod Mayo and the top NFL head coaching candidates

In the same press release announcing Mayo extension talks, the New England Patriots also noted that they’ll begin inverviewing offensive coordinator candidates next week.

This is a clear sign that an overhaul could be coming for the team after missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons following Tom Brady’s departure.

As for Jerod Mayo, it seems highly unlikely that he’d remain an assistant in New England is a head-coaching job presented itself. That’s what makes this so interesting.