Former Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo is retiring after eight years in the NFL.
Mayo, who played his entire career with the New England Patriots, announced his decision via Instagram. Mayo referred to his wife, Chantel Mayo, as well as several members of the Patriots’ organization and his fans in his statement, which was posted Tuesday evening.
“After a lot of thought 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. “We are extremely grateful to “Thundercat”, Jonathan, the Kraft family, Coach 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 was a standout linebacker for the Vols despite a somewhat slow start to his career. After redshirting in 2004 and playing sparingly in 2005, the Hampton, Va., native claimed a starting linebacker spot in 2006 and 2007. He registered 140 tackles in his final season before forgoing his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. He was selected by the Patriots with the No. 10 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
He was AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 and a two-time Pro Bowl selection. Mayo turns 30 years old on Feb. 23, one week after his announcement..
Mayo has suffered three serious injuries the past three seasons. He sustained a torn pectoral muscle last season, a torn patella tendon in 2014 and a torn pectoral muscle in 2013.