Report: Mayo, Pats "established firm, contractual succession plan"

After Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots said farewell to Bill Belichick as head coach, he promised to find a replacement "very quickly." Maybe it's because he's already in a committed relationship.

According to our Phil Perry, the current front-runner to replace Bill Belichick as head coach of the Patriots' linebackers is Jerod Mayo.

An intriguing new twist was added to the Mayo rumors on Thursday evening by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

Based on what Rapoport has learned, the Patriots "established a firm, contractual succession plan in a prior contract and communicated it to the NFL." This would allow them to skip the long recruiting process and just recruit Mayo as their head coach.

The Baltimore Ravens, Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts, and Jim Mora of the Seattle Seahawks all used this strategy, as pointed out by Rapoport.

That doesn't necessarily imply the Patriots will hire Mayo as their next head coach. The firing of Patriots Hall of Fame coach Mike Vrabel by the Tennessee Titans presented Kraft with an interesting opportunity to weigh his alternatives.

Mayo, who had a fruitful playing career with the Patriots, became a member of their coaching staff in 2019

In January 2023, the Patriots revealed their intention to extend Mayo's contract. A few months later, Kraft referred to Mayo as Belichick's "heir apparent."

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