Connect with us

New England Patriots

Jerod Mayo Says the Patriots “Want to Take Care of Our Own”



New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85), guard Mike Onwenu (71) and guard Sidy Sow (62) prepares to line up during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Jerod Mayo met with the media on Monday morning at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting in Orlando. Mayou spoke on several pertinent topics. This included NFL free agency. Specifically the New England Patriots not signing any big-ticket free agents from outside the organization yet.

“The media, the fans, everyone wants that big signing,” acknowledged Mayo. “But at the same time, as we put this team together, I think there has to be a process. There has to be a methodical process.”

The Patriots’ head coach touched on factors that factored into how free agency has shaken out so far.

“I would say offensively this year we were very picky in terms of the players we were getting. And at the same time, it wasn’t really a deep offensive free agent class to even make that type of offensive splash.”

New England prioritized something other than simply making a splash or “burning cash” in free agency.

“We want to take care of our own.”

Mayo pointed to the signing of offensive lineman Mike Onwenu. While acknowledging that paying big money to retain a lineman wasn’t going to necessarily excite the fanbase, it was an important move. He discussed Onwenu’s productivity and versatility in what made bringing him back so important.

Other players opting to return to New England included Hunter Henry, Kendrick Bourne, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and Jalen Reagor.

“I know we have a lot of cash to utiliize but we are going to utilize it the right way.”

Mayo discussed how the New England Patriots philosophy for sustained success is to “draft and develop” players. This includes locking up the players who do just that, like defensive lineman Christian Barmore.

“One thing with Barmore, he’s one of those players that’s developed here,” stated Mayo. He added that the Patriots have discussed a contract extension with the 2025 free agent, but did not give away any details.

“We have had talks with Barmore and hopefully it works out.”

He also acknowledged there is “no question” New England would like to retain the services of star linebacker Matthew Judon, another player set to hit the free agent market in a year.

“You want to get guys who are magnets,” Mayo said. He was referring to players that would attract other players to want to play for the Patriots and acknowledged he played with the GOAT magnet in Tom Brady.”The goal is always to have players want to come to your organization.”

But Jerod Mayo admitted the Patriots did have some factors working against them when trying to attract players from outside the organization this time around. Some of it is the general “fear of the unknown” for any player joining a new team. He acknowledged with New England having a rookie coach (Mayo himself) and rookie (de facto) general manager in Eliot Wolf, players may not know what to expect under the new regime in New England. Now it is time for them to prove themselves.

As for any fan frustration, Mayo stressed patience.

“I understand the frustration,” said Mayo about the New England Patriots not making any headling-grabbing moves yet. “But at the same time, hopefully fans understand we want to build this the right way.”