New England Patriots

Report: Mayo, Pats ‘established firm, contractual succession plan'

The Patriots won't have to go through the lengthy hiring process if Jerod Mayo is their next head coach.

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After saying goodbye to Bill Belichick, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft vowed to find the team''s next head coach "very quickly."

Perhaps that's because he already has his guy.

Our Phil Perry recently reported that Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo remains the favorite to succeed Belichick in Foxboro. On Thursday evening, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport added an interesting wrinkle to the Mayo rumors.

Rapoport reports that the Patriots "established a firm, contractual succession plan in a prior contract and communicated it to the NFL." That means they could simply hire Mayo as their next head coach and not have to go through the lengthy hiring process.

As Rapoport notes, the Baltimore Ravens took the same approach with general manager Eric DeCosta, the Indianapolis Colts did it with Jim Caldwell, and the Seattle Seahawks did it with Jim Mora.

This doesn't mean Mayo is guaranteed to become the next head coach of the Patriots. Kraft could still explore his options before making a decision, and an intriguing option became available when the Tennessee Titans fired Patriots Hall of Famer Mike Vrabel.

Mayo joined the Patriots coaching staff in 2019 after a successful playing career in New England. The Pats announced plans to extend Mayo's contract in Jan. 2023 and a couple of months later, Kraft dubbed Mayo as Belichick's "heir apparent."

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