Rumor #2: The idea of Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick is considered a 50/50 possibility at this point
Within the conversations about Belichick either retiring from New England or coaching elsewhere next season is the question of who would replace him in any scenario. For years, it seemed like Josh McDaniels was being groomed to eventually take over, which could still be in the cards, but because he failed in his second chance to be a head coach, it may not be the best decision for the organization.
The only other sensical candidate has been promoting linebackers coach and former Patriot Jerod Mayo, who canceled interviews set up with the Panthers earlier this year to return to the Patriots. The team released that information in an uncharacteristic memo revealed to the public, seemingly hinting at Mayo being part of the eventual Belichick succession plan.
But now, it seems that may not be the case.
One of the latest rumors reported by ESPN's Dan Graziano suggests that sources around the team are split on whether Mayo will be named the new head coach.
"Multiple sources in and around the building say Mayo taking over next year is the most likely outcome, though others are no longer certain that’s the way Kraft will go. Mayo would have to sell Kraft on who will be in charge of the offense, the quarterback’s development and personnel. That could all happen and work out in Mayo’s favor, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a 100% sure thing."
Considering the amount of unforeseen changes that will need to happen this offseason, it doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that the Krafts may be hesitant about their confidence in going with Mayo. Things can change, and they may want to approach the significant changes as a complete tear-down and rebuild, bringing in all new faces to build a new staff and culture.
On the other hand, although nothing is guaranteed and there's no loyalty in sports, it seems a bit misleading to have appeared as if Mayo was in line for the eventual promotion, just to rip it away from him less than a year later.
Maybe he's not ready yet, or perhaps he's not really the guy. But potentially ruling it out entirely isn't a good look.