Mayo decided to retire from the NFL after eight seasons Tuesday. During his initial campaigns with the Patriots, Mayo was a play-making force, racking up 100-plus tackles in four of five seasons. The run included a whopping 175 tackles in 2010, while he forced at least one fumble each year. However, injuries have plagued the linebacker in the interim, with a pair of torn pectorals (2013 and 2015) and a torn patellar tendon (2014) marking a sudden end to the respective seasons. As he moves onto the post-football phase of his career, the Patriots will be in search of a consistent MLB.
Mayo (pectoral) is unlikely to be back with the Patriots in 2016, CSN New England reports. There's no chance Mayo will return under the terms of his current contract, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if he were to accept a pay cut to stay with the only team he's ever known. Either way, his days as a useful IDP are likely over, with the Patriots only viewing him as a two-down linebacker at this stage in his carer. Mayo also faces the challenge of recovering from a torn pectoral that he suffered during the playoffs.
Mayo underwent a procedure Wednesday to repair a torn pectoral, Dan Roche of WBZ AM Boston reports. For the second time in a three-year span, Mayo required surgery on a pectoral, which is yet another in a line of injury concerns for the eight-year pro. No matter, the middle linebacker logged a full regular season slate for the first time since 2012, accruing 47 tackles (35 solo) and one sack. Assuming he recovers fully, he'll likely serve in a situational role again next season after logging 36 percent of the defensive snaps in 2015.
Mayo (shoulder) will be placed on season-ending injured reserve, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports. Even though Mayo worked in a reduced role for much of the season, the Patriots may still suffer from his absence against a Denver team that wants to run the ball as much as possible. Jon Bostic, Darius Fleming and Dekoda Watson are the candidates to pick up early-down snaps alongside Jamie Collins (oblique) and Dont'a Hightower. Mayo's absence will become a much bigger issue if Collins is also unable to play.
Mayo was on the field for 36.2 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps this past season, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. In 16 games, Mayo recorded modest IDP numbers (47 tackles and a sack) while seeing a reduced role behind fellow linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower. Previously, Mayo had been a key cog in the team's defense when healthy, but his contract probably needs to be tweaked in order for him to remain in the team's linebacker mix in 2016.