KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Vol For Life Jerod Mayo announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday, ending a standout eight-year career with the New England Patriots.
He announced the news on his official Instagram account (@jerod_mayo51) on Tuesday.
Mayo was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Patriots with the 10th overall pick and served as the anchor of the New England defense from 2008-15. At No. 10, he is the Patriots’ second-highest draft selection in the Bill Belichick era. Belichick has pointed to Mayo as one of the most important players in the organization due to the veteran linebacker’s ability to impact teammates on both sides of the ball and of all ages.
“I would say he’s really the guy that the team probably revolves around more than any other player,” Belichick said of Mayo in 2014.
Mayo enjoyed a stellar career in New England, helping lead the Patriots to two Super Bowls (2011 and 2014 seasons) and one Super Bowl victory (2014). He shined in Super Bowl XLVI, making 11 tackles in a 21-17 loss to the New York Giants. He was on injured reserve during New England’s 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Over eight seasons, Mayo totaled 803 tackles, 11.0 sacks, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 19 pass deflections and three interceptions. Tackles are an unofficial statistic in the NFL. Mayo’s 803 tackles would rank fifth in Patriots history.
He also played in eight postseason games, tallying 58 tackles and two forced fumbles.
In 2008, Mayo won the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, becoming just the second player in Patriots history to earn the honor. He tallied 128 tackles (100 solo) with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four pass deflections during his stellar 2008 rookie campaign. He was also named 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association and ESPN.com.
Mayo led the Patriots in total tackles in each of his first five seasons and led the NFL with a career-high 175 tackles (114 solo) in 2010. He is also a two-time Pro Bowler (2010, 2012).
In 2015, Mayo played in all 16 regular-season games, making eight starts. He tallied 47 tackles (35 solo), one sack and one pass defended. Mayo’s strong play and veteran leadership anchored another solid year for the Patriots’ defense. New England ranked ninth in total defense (339.4 yards allowed per game), ninth in rushing defense (98.8 yards) and 10th in scoring defense (19.7 points).
New England started the season 10-0 and the Pats’ defense held opponents to under 20 points seven times. Mayo’s best game was an eight-tackle performance in New England’s 27-6 win at Houston on Dec. 13. He finished the year in strong fashion, racking up 21 tackles in the final four regular-season games.
Mayo starred at Tennessee from 2004-07. He was a 2007 First-Team All-SEC selection after tallying 140 tackles (79 solo), including 15 in the 2007 SEC Championship and 13 in the Outback Bowl.