Jerod Mayo admits he messed up early on as Patriots head coach

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages

The start of Jerod Mayo's tenure as the next head coach of the New England Patriots has already seen its ups and downs. Fortunately, most of what he and his staff have done has been well-received by fans and the media. The main disappointment stems from the lack of big moves made in free agency.

Typically, that can be said about any team needing significant roster improvements, especially offensively, and entering free agency with around $100 million in cap space to spend.

However, expectations were even higher this year due to early comments made by Mayo that continue to haunt him months later.

"We're bringing in talent, 1,000 percent. We have a lot of cap space and cash. We're ready to burn some cash!"

Besides the excitement of a new head coach and general manager being in charge of things in New England for the first time in over two decades, Mayo promising to spend big in free agency brought it to a whole new level.

Rumors and proposed blockbuster trades flooded the internet, tying the Patriots to some of the top offensive talent that fans had only dreamt about actually being on the team one day. Mayo's statement became the foundation for hypothesized roster improvements, only for fans to be let down due to the lack of moves made in free agency.

Jerod Mayo admits he messed up early on as Patriots' head coach

Although he's addressed the mistake already, he owned up to it again during his most recent appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday.

After what appears to be a successful draft that seemingly made up for a lackluster free agency, the Patriots still have over $50 million in cap space to use before and during the 2024 season. A good portion of that will be used to sign the incoming rookies, but a large amount of money remains on the table.

Because of that and fans referencing back to the "burn some cash" comment, Mayo admitted his words were a "rookie mistake" and blamed it on his excitement in becoming the Patriot's next head coach.

“That was a rookie mistake. That was a rookie mistake by me. As soon as I got downstairs, (Patriots vice president of communications Stacey James) slapped me in the head, like, ‘What are you doing?’

“You understand what I meant, though. What I really meant, though, is we’re going to be, obviously, smart with cash and smart with acquisitions. I was just very excited. At the same time, I feel like we’re building the roster the way we want to build it.”

We might not be overly thrilled with how free agency went, especially with guys like Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins appearing to be available, but it's hard to be mad at a guy who was rightfully excited about the new opportunity he was given. Fans can definitely understand that.

It's clear Mayo learned from his mistake, which he will probably do a lot of as an inexperienced, learning on-the-job coach, all of which is forgivable. There's still plenty of time for more moves to be made before the 2024 season begins, and he implied there might be more to come.

“We have to be smart. Once again, the burning of cash was a mistake. In saying that, we do have cash and we’ll spend it on guys that we think will make this team better.”

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