With a cap hit of $10.28 million next season, and the Patriots trying to find ways to resign Darrelle Revis, you have to wonder why there has been no word on restructuring Jerod Mayo’s contract. The more time that goes by with no word on Mayo, the more I’m starting to think he isn’t game for a restructure. Technically Mayo can’t restructure his deal until he passes the physical, but if he does – will he be willing?
The play-calling defensive captain will likely remain with the team regardless, but he could do New England a huge favor by restructuring his deal and saving the Pats on the cap. If the Patriots flat out cut Mayo, they would only save about $4.5 million, but if they can work out an extension (similar to what they did twice with Brady), then it becomes infinitely more possible to keep this Super Bowl winning secondary intact.
If Mayo has been paying attention to recent restructures, he may notice that when Brady restructured to help the team resign Welker, that didn’t happen. When the team restructured Vince to lighten the heavy cap load last season, it created tension. It all seemed fine, but the restructure made it easier for the Pats to cut Wilfork this offseason and you see where it landed Wilfork – free agency. As a Pats fan, you’re hoping Jerod doesn’t look at those recent instances with a cynical eye.
Mayo is a team-first type player and I think you’ll eventually see movement on his deal in the form of a restructure. If Mayo doesn’t want to restructure, the team would have a decision on their hands. Do you keep a player with a cap hit of $10.2 million when he has gone down in week 6 both of the past two seasons and you have quality linebackers in Hightower and Collins, or do you cut him and bank the $4.5 million? As menial as it is, $4.5 million would allow the Pats to bring back Revis on a deal similar to Richard Sherman’s paired with the money they currently have.
The Patriots want to sign Revis. The conversation between Revis’ agent and the Patriots has been ongoing since the conclusion of the season that ended in the Pats hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The only thing in the way is the Patriots limited cap space, which according to PatsCap, sits at just $9.56 million after the projections on the McCourty deal.
Revis wants top of the market money so look at the top of the market deals. Richard Sherman was guaranteed $40 million on a 4-year deal. It’s going to take slightly more than that to satisfy the best corner in the game. At its very peak, Sherman will count $14.77 million against the Seahawks cap. It’s apparent – the Patriots have some work to do manipulating the cap and it started with Wilfork and continues with Mayo.
Reportedly, the Patriots are allowing Browner to shop his value around the NFL. If cut, the Pats could save $4.8 million on Browner’s release. Either way, it seems like the Patriots will not want Browner to be making that much so it’s either restructure, or cut. We’ll find that out by 4pm today likely.
Back to the issue at hand – Jerod Mayo is an outstanding talent, but talent means nothing when you’re not playing. Fortunately for him, he has a clause in his contract that guarantees him $6 million for injury. Meaning the best way for the Patriots to save on the cap is a restructure. The problem is how much leverage Mayo has in the guaranteed salary.
In 90 percent of NFL contract cases, the Patriots would hold all the leverage. They did win the Super Bowl without the help of Mayo. The depth behind Mayo looks just as capable as Jerod Mayo himself. Mayo is coming off two injury-shortened seasons. Yet no word? It’s interesting to follow, but the silence on Mayo’s deal intrigues me because it’s the most obvious. Mayo might not be willing and that is going to hamstring the Pats in the Revis sweepstakes if that’s the case.