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Jerod Mayo’s return to the Patriots seems likely with all 9 NFL head coaching vacancies now filled

Related: Patriots will get extra draft capital if Jerod Mayo leaves to become a head coach

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The New England Patriots’ coaching staff will look different in 2022. But while the team has to replace at least two of its offensive coaches — coordinator Josh McDaniels and assistant quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree — it appears the defensive staff might just stay in place.

With all nine head coaching vacancies around the league now filled, after all, it seems likely that inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo will stay put.

Mayo was invited for two interviews this hiring cycle. He reportedly performed well both times, but neither the Denver Broncos nor the Las Vegas Raiders ended up hiring him: the Broncos went with Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, while the Raiders brought McDaniels aboard to team up with new general manager and fellow ex-Patriot Dave Ziegler.

There is a chance that one of the teams with a vacancy at defensive coordinator could still bring Mayo on board, but that also appears to be unlikely. The most realistic candidate to add the 36-year-old to his staff — McDaniels — hired Patrick Graham to coordinate his defense, after all.

Mayo staying in New England for at least another season would be good news for the team. A long-time linebacker with the Patriots who returned to the organization in 2019, Mayo has not just worked with the inside linebackers but also served as a de facto co-defensive coordinator alongside Steve Belichick.

With Belichick not going anywhere either, Mayo returning will ensure some continuity for a defense heading into an offseason filled with major questions. Long-time leaders such as Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower are no locks to return in 2022, while the team might also have to replace its number one cornerback, pending free agent J.C. Jackson.

The coaching staff staying intact, meanwhile, would allow for some stability — even if it comes at the expense of Mayo’s head coaching ambitions, at least for the moment. While he will likely stay put in 2022, the following coaches changed teams to fill the nine head coaching openings this offseason:

*not officially announced yet