The New England Patriots are fortunate enough to not have experienced Black Monday, the NFL’s most unfortunate tradition, over the last two decades.
Of course, that annual event refers to the first day after the conclusion of the regular season and typically marks a flood of firings around the league.
While Jon Gruden and Urban Meyer are the only coaches who’ve been canned mid-season, there are several others on the hot seat heading into the final week. Off the top of our heads, the Bears, Vikings, Broncos and Giants could all have head coach openings by this time next week.
The Patriots obviously don’t fall under this category. If anything, Bill Belichick is in contention for the Coach of the Year award. However, the six-time champ may lose some assistants to the annual coaching carousel.
In fact, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated understands Jerod Mayo could be in the mix for the Bears’ HC job if the franchise moves on from Matt Nagy.
The Patriots could lose LBs coach Jerod Mayo to a head coaching job.
"“I’ve heard a few younger candidates that project as leaders, like Patriots LBs coach Jerod Mayo and Colts DC Matt Eberflus, will be in the mix too,” Breer wrote in his latest ‘GamePlan’ column. “Obviously, for these types, a plan for developing (quarterback) Justin Fields will be important.”"
A former two-time Pro Bowler who played his entire eight-year career with the Patriots and won Super Bowl XLIX with the organization, Mayo is enjoying a fantastic third season working as one of Belichick’s high-ranking assistants.
While this would be a big jump for Mayo, these rumors shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, they’ve been stoked sparingly throughout the season. Back in November, he featured on NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero’s list of rising head-coaching candidates for the second straight year.
As you would expect, Mayo, while conveying his allegiance to the Pats, responded by sharing his desire to become a head coach.
"“I definitely aspire to be a head coach in this league,” Mayo told reporters. “At the same time, I would say I’m really focused on this season. We’ll see what happens at the end of the year.”"
It sure seems like a matter of when, not if, the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will fulfill his aspirations. Last offseason, he interviewed for the Eagles’ vacancy and reportedly made a strong impression before they hired Nick Sirianni.
With that said, given the lack of attractive openings, we feel as though it would behoove Mayo to stick it out for another year under Belichick before he dives head-first into the head coaching waters.
Whether it’s this offseason or next, though, Patriots fans should probably brace themselves for Mayo’s eventual departure.