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Report: Browns request permission to interview Jerod Mayo for vacant defensive coordinator position

Related: Planning to return for a 24th season, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stresses need for improvement

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo will again be a hot commodity on the coaching market this offseason, and it did not take long for his first interview request to arrive. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns have asked for permission to speak to the 36-year-old.

Cleveland is considering Mayo for its vacant defensive coordinator job. The position opened up on Monday, when the organization parted ways with Joe Woods after three seasons.

Mayo originally entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008. Over the next eight seasons, he established himself as a core member of the team’s defense and earned one Super Bowl ring as well as a pair of Pro Bowl nominations. A series of injuries, however, forced him to step away after a combined 111 regular season and playoff games.

Mayo spent some time away from the league before returning in 2019, taking over as New England’s inside linebackers coach. Over the next four seasons, he was played 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 never moved beyond position coach. He officially worked with the inside linebackers his first three years, before moving to linebackers coach in 2022.

While he is relatively new to coaching, NFL teams have shown interest in him before. He interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ head-coaching position in 2021, and did the same with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders last offseason.

Mayo did eventually return to the Patriots each time, but just last month expressed his aspirations to become a head coach at one point.

“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.”

Despite Mayo and Belichick building one of the league’s better defensive units, New England finished the season with an 8-9 record and out of the playoffs. The Browns went 7-10, ranking 20th in the league in points allowed.