The Patriots defense doesn’t have a lot going for it, but it does have a great young leader in linebacker Jerod Mayo.
New England made sure that Mayo remains with the team through the prime of his career by giving him a five-year contract extension on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This has probably been the most frustrating of Mayo’s four seasons in the NFL because he has struggled with injuries more than ever before in his career. But Mayo has stood out ever since the team drafted him tenth overall in 2008. Bill Belichick often talks glowingly of Mayo’s leadership and smart play.
He was AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 and made his first Pro Bowl and All Pro team last season. His contract didn’t run out until 2013, so Mayo likely took a less up front money than he could get as a free agent in exchange for security now.
The Patriots defense is essentially built around Mayo and Vince Wilfork. Those two guys need a lot more help around them.