Earlier this offseason, 2-time Pro Bowler Jerod Mayo announced his retirement from the National Football League after it was revealed that the Patriots declined his option for the upcoming 2016 season. The 8-year NFL vet amassed 803 tackles with New England, and could have been one of the better linebackers in Patriots history if injuries did not derail his career for the past three seasons.
Fortunately, there is no bad blood between the two sides. Actually, there is a lot of praise and love floating around between Mayo, and specifically Bill Belichick.
On Tuesday, Mayo spoke with Patriots.com’s “PFW in Progress,” where he talked about Bill Belichick and his career with the New England Patriots: (Per NESN)
“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.
I could never play for someone else. I told Bill that. 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.”
It came to no surprise that the New England Patriots decided to move on from the 2008 #10 overall pick, as he had a cap hit of $11.4 million, but it still hurt to see a lifelong Patriot retire so early.
However, it appears that Mayo has decided to switch careers, as he plans to join Optum, a health services and innovation company.