By Jack Ross 02/17/16
Running backs rejoice, Jerod Mayo is hanging up his cleats.
After finishing his third consecutive season on the injured reserve list, the New England Patriots’ 29-year old linebacker has had enough – and has decided to retire. Just a few years ago this would have been a surprising announcement; a talented player in his prime retiring before the age of thirty was nearly unheard of back then – even after multiple injuries. But following the likes of Chris Borland and Marshawn Lynch, Mayo is the next big name on a rapidly growing list of players retiring before injuries derail the rest of their lives.
Mayo posted the news about his retirement on Instagram Tuesday evening with a post entitled “Retiring a Patriot.”
In it, he expressed his and his wife Chantal’s gratitude towards the New England Patriots Organization, and it’s fans.
“We are extremely grateful to ‘Thundercat’ [Pats owner Robert Kraft], Jonathan, the Kraft family, Bill Belichick, the Pats organization, and the most amazing fans in contributing to these pages of our lives,” Mayo wrote, “Pats memories will always hold a special place in our hearts #51 JMayo.”
Without Mayo to hold down the middle of the field, the Patriots will look to Jonathan Freeny to step up in a big way. The 26-year old Rutgers product looked good at times last season but will need to increase his performance in 2016 if he wants to hang onto the starting spot. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots target a linebacker in free agency as well, with names like Rolando McClain, Danny Trevathan, and Jerrell Freeman being among the top targets.
Mayo was set to make #3.4 million in salary with a $4.5 roster bonus in 2016, and his retirement leaves New England with an additional $7 million in cap space and $4.4 million in dead money.