The NFL coaching carousel is spinning again, and New England Patriots assistant Jerod Mayo might soon be taking a ride as well. The Patriots’ inside linebackers coach has drawn interest from the Denver Broncos, who requested an interview after firing head coach Vic Fangio earlier this week.
While it remains to be seen if the Patriots grant Mayo permission to conduct an interview — based on previous such situations they are expected to do so — we do know that him leaving New England to become a head coach elsewhere would allow New England to pick up some extra draft capital.
Under a change to the league’s so-called “Rooney Rule” that was voted into action during the 2020 season, the Patriots would be entitled to two compensatory third-round draft picks in case Mayo or any other minority assistant left to become a head coach. The rule also covers front office members leaving to take over general manager positions.
Mayo would qualify for that stipulation. In case he departs New England either to join the Broncos or another organization, his then-former team would therefore get an additional third-round pick in this year’s draft as well as another in next year’s.
The compensation would certainly help soften the blow of losing Mayo. A former first-round linebacker who appeared in a combined 111 regular season and playoff games for the Patriots between the 2008 and 2015 seasons, Mayo returned to the organization in 2019. He has held his position since then, and is the defensive co-leader alongside outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick.
Getting third-round draft picks in each of the next two drafts would be furthermore welcome news for a team that is not expected to get any compensatory draft choices next year. Obviously, though, the next few weeks will determine whether or not that happens.
Thus far, four teams have benefitted from this rule: the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints, and the Baltimore Ravens. If the Patriots lose Mayo or other minority coaches or executives — defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington, for example — they would join them.