New England Hires Jerod Mayo to Replace Bill Belichick
The New England Patriots were one of the last to fire their head coach but the first to hire a new one. It was announced Thursday that Bill Belichick and the Patriots were amicably parting ways and less than 24 hours later they dropped the news that current defensive play-caller and former first-round pick Jerod Mayo would be the next head coach.
Jerod Mayo has been with the Patriots as a linebackers coach since 2019. The team hasn't had a true defensive coordinator since Matt Patricia in 2017. The move to promote Jerod Mayo to head coach is one that brings not only consistency in the culture that has been evident over the dynasty of the Patriots but also has some significant impact on your fantasy assets.
The Patriots have been struggling to find the right guy since Tom Brady left. Jerod Mayo was a teammate of Brady so he knows the value of stability at the coaching position. Currently holding the 3rd overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, Mayo and whoever steps into the role of general manager will be deciding if Mac Jones or possibly Bailey Zappe can be salvaged or if they are better off starting from scratch. I think Jerod Mayo will want to put his own stamp on the team and that probably starts at the quarterback position. He will be in a position to take one in the draft if he likes one or he could follow his mentor's mentality and trade back acquiring more picks to address more of the team's needs.
I don’t love the outlook for Mac Jones with this hire. Usually when there is a coaching change a less than superstar quarterback gets swapped out. Mayo has been there since they drafted Jones so he is intimately aware of his strengths and weaknesses. If I’m a current Mac Jones owner in Dynasty I would be looking to move off of him for anything over a late 3rd round pick. There is a small chance that the Patriots roll with him for another year and address other areas of need. I think he gets a backup role on a team but isn't a starter. We have seen plenty of backups and even 3rd string guys get playing time so Jones will probably have a few starts next year. I just don't see a ton of future value.
With Jerod Mayo taking over, we are expecting a continuation if not an increase in the defense. A strong defense usually means two things. One more play for the offense due to ending opponents' drives. Second, it means less scoring for the opponent which means the offense doesn't “need” to score as many points to win. Sure they can but also allows a team to stay within their game plan. All of this means great things for Rhamondre Stevenson and the run game. No matter who the quarterback is the run game will be leaned on heavily. If it's Mac Jones for another year or a rookie, even a top one like Drake Maye there will be struggles due to receiving weapons.
Stevenson will be entering the last year of his rookie contract and will be almost 27 when he has to get a new deal. The Patriots and Jerod Mayo might just use him up in 2024 and then figure out after that. Stevenson will be a solid fantasy player in 2024. He's a tough asset to value right now. I’m buying him right now for no more than a mid 2nd rounder. I will be looking to sell him mid-season after a few good weeks for more than that.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
There isn't much to like here. It's been a weak spot for the Patriots for some time. There is hope among Pats fans that Jerod Mayo starts his tenure off by drafting Marvin Harrison Jr. If that's the case it means they are passing on top quarterback talent and are either rolling with Jones or possibly signing someone like Gardner Minshew. The current group of pass catchers doesn’t excite me.
Tyquan Thornton has explosive down-the-field potential but hasn't been able to show that consistently. I’m selling any of the current pass catchers for anything right now. If the Patriots bring someone in during free agency or the draft I would be willing to buy them for no more than a late 2nd unless they can bring in a top quarterback and a top receiving option. That seems like a low percentage probability but nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
The Jerod Mayo era in New England has started and the Patriots will be looking to start fresh start. It has implications for your fantasy players.
1. Sell Mac Jones for a late 3rd or higher
2. Buy Rhamondre Stevenson for a mid 2nd, sell midseason for higher
3. Sell current WR and TEs, but new ones for no more than a late 2nd.
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Playing fantasy football for over 25 years. Dynasty player for 4 years. Always digging for those diamonds in the rough players. First guy on Isaiah Hodgins.