29-Year-Old Linebacker – New England Patriots
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Mayo’s last two seasons have been slowed by injuries, but his experience and leadership are assets to the team’s defense and once he agreed to re-work his contract, the Patriots gladly retained him. A...
Jerod Mayo Contract Information:
Signed a five-year extension with the Patriots in December of 2011.
Mayo underwent a procedure Wednesday to repair a torn pectoral, Dan Roche of WBZ AM Boston reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Jerod Mayo: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Durability issues are the only reason Mayo isn't listed among the top-10 IDP linebackers. He's one of the league's elite tackle sources when healthy, posting 470 over his last 52 games, but a pectoral muscle tear ended his 2013 season after just six games, and he missed two games in 2011 with knee troubles. Even if he misses a couple games in 2014, though, Mayo is still among the strongest bets to exceed triple-digit tackles. He'd likely only need about 12 games to pull it off. There is a slight chance that fellow linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower might steal a few chances, but both players can play end at times, leaving room for all three.
Mayo stayed healthy in 2012, bouncing back in a big way from a disappointing 95-tackle 2011 – this after coming off a 174-tackle season in 2010. But those who kept faith in Mayo in 2012 were rewarded with 146 tackles, 87 of them solo. He also made a healthy impact with turnovers and pass rushing, posting four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three sacks and an interception. It's particularly encouraging that Mayo was able to post such big tackle numbers despite the team's first-round investment in fellow linebacker Dont’a Hightower, who was at least an "on-paper" threat to Mayo’s tackles and snap count. It's a slight concern that the same scenario is playing out again this year with the team's second-round selection of outside linebacker Jamie Collins, but we suspect it has more to do with the Patriots' plan to do some 3-4 experimentation than posing any challenge to Mayo's role.
After posting a mammoth, league-leading total of 175 tackles (114 solo) in 2010, Mayo predictably regressed to the mean in 2011, and not just due to injury. Although Mayo missed two games with an MCL sprain, his per-game production saw a huge drop-off, too. He had just 95 tackles (58 solo) in 14 games – decent numbers, but far from a good return considering most of his owners were paying the 175-tackle price for Mayo in drafts. He should be much more affordable this year, though, and he's a good bet to be a bargain given that he produced at a rate of 144 tackles per 16 games in the three seasons prior to last. The only real drawback with Mayo is that his durability is questionable – he’s missed five games over the last three years while almost certainly playing hurt in others.
In posting a monstrous total of 175 tackles (114 solo), Mayo was the top IDP linebacker of 2010. An athletic sideline-to-sideline tackler, there’s no reason to think Mayo doesn’t have another big season in store for 2011. But it’s probably best to expect at least a slight regression in his numbers, too. After enduring the fewest defensive snaps in 2008 (920) and the second-fewest in 2009 (941), New England’s defense was surprisingly on the field for more snaps (1,056) than all but five teams in 2010. If the Patriots defense sees a snap count in the 950-range this year, as history generally indicates it should, then Mayo’s numbers could be in for a relatively steep drop. Triple-digit tackles are a near lock, but it's unlikely he approaches 175 again.
Mayo led the Pats in tackles last season with 103, despite missing three games with a knee injury. He finished the year strong, posting double figures in tackles three times in the second half, including a 15-tackle performance in Week 16. He’ll be back this season as the center of Bill Belichick’s defense, and should show continued improvement in his third NFL campaign.
Some observers thought 10th overall was a bit high to select Mayo, but as usual, Bill Belichick’s personnel decision proved wise. With the Pats losing defenders to injury left and right, Mayo solidified the inside linebacker spot opposite veteran Tedy Bruschi, to the tune of 126 tackles and a near-unanimous selection as AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s a good tackler with excellent speed, who, with a year in Belichick’s system under his belt, likely will out-produce last year’s impressive numbers. A bit undersized at 6-2, 230, Mayo could have durability concerns - but if he can stay healthy for 16 games he should be a top IDP performer for years to come.
The Patriots needed to get younger and deeper at linebacker and Mayo has the versatility to play either inside or outside in either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment. Some may feel that No. 10 overall in the draft was a tad high for Mayo, but the Pats were able to trade out of the No. 7 slot and still address their top position of need here. Mayo combines quickness with good timed speed (he ran a 4.54 forty), plus he has a reputation for being a sure tackler, who plays bigger than his size.