New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has decided to retire.
The 29-year-old took to Instagram yesterday to confirm that he was hanging up his cleats after eight years in the National Football League, all of them spent in New England.
"After a lot of thought [Mayo's wife] Chantel and I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for what we consider a life changing event.....that of becoming a New England Patriot for the past 8 years," Mayo wrote in the Insta post.
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"We are extremely grateful to 'Thundercat' [Patriots owner Robert Kraft], [Patriots president] Jonathan [Kraft], the Kraft family, Coach [Bill] Belichick, the Pats organization, and the most amazing fans in contributing to these pages of our lives.
"As my family and I prepare for the future be sure that the Pats memories will always hold a special place in our hearts. #51 JMayo."
Mayo might be a veteran at the Patriots, but he's still young in NFL terms. With other players like Patrick Willis and Chris Borland retiring young before the start of last season, this might just be the way the league is going now with health risks of playing football being more well known.
New England drafted Mayo 10th overall in 2008 out of Tennessee and he was a great servant to the team for so long, putting in Pro Bowl-caliber seasons on multiple occasions and winning one Super Bowl.
However, in recent years, Mayo has picked up more and more injuries, and with his cap hit at around $11m next season, Mayo may well have decided to jump before he was pushed out in New England, ending things on his own terms.