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Report: Panthers request to interview Jerod Mayo for head coach position

Related: Browns request permission to interview Jerod Mayo for vacant defensive coordinator job

New England Patriots (23) Vs. Buffalo Bills (35) At Highmark Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots have gotten another interview request for linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Carolina Panthers are eyeing Mayo as a candidate to fill their open head-coaching position.

The Panthers are the second team to request an interview with the 36-year-old. Earlier this week, the Cleveland Browns reached out to the Patriots in hopes of speaking to him for their defensive coordinator gig.

Mayo receiving interest from outside is nothing new. Back in 2021, he took an interview with the Philadelphia Eagles’ in hopes of becoming heir next head coach. The following year, he did the same with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.

Mayo returned to the Patriots each time, but still hopes to become a head coach at one point — something he again made clear last month.

“That’s never changed. I think I’m ready to be a head coach in the league,” he said at the time. “Right now, my focus is on being here with the Patriots, but that’s definitely my goal.”

Mayo, of course, is relatively new to coaching.

A first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008, he appeared in 111 regular season and playoff games for the organization as an off-ball linebacker. A series of injuries, however, forced him to retire in 2015 after heaving earned one Super Bowl ring as well as a pair of Pro Bowl nominations.

Mayo returned to the team in 2019 to take over as New England’s inside linebackers coach. Over the next four seasons, he carved out a crucial role on the team’s defensive staff — serving as a de facto co-coordinator alongside fellow assistant Steve Belichick.

Despite this prominent a role, however, Mayo was never promoted beyond position coach. He officially worked with the inside linebackers his first three years, before moving to linebackers coach in 2022. In this role, he helped New England field one of the best defenses in the game despite the team finishing the season at 8-9 and outside the playoffs.

Also not making the tournament were the Panthers, who fired head coach Matt Rhule in October following their 1-4 start. While the team did go a respectable 6-6 down the stretch while led by interim Steve Wilks, it is looking at alternatives to take over.

One of those is Jerod Mayo. He is joining a group of nine others that either have been or will be interviewed: Wilks, Jim Caldwell, Frank Reich, Shane Steichen (Philadelphia), Ben Johnson (Detroit), Ken Dorsey (Buffalo), Mike Kafka (New York), Kellen Moore (Dallas), and DeMeco Ryans (San Francisco).