New England Patriots Jerod Mayo speaks to reporters before training at the Oval Cricket Ground ahead of their NFL game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London October October 23, 2009. —Reuters

Jerod Mayo, former player and current assistant coach, has been chosen to succeed Bill Belichick as the head coach of the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. 

The announcement, reported by multiple sources, comes following Belichick's amicable departure from the team after 24 years and six championships.

Mayo, 37, who spent his entire playing career with the Patriots from 2008 to 2015 as a standout linebacker, rejoined the organisation as an inside linebackers coach in 2019. His contract reportedly includes a provision specifying him as Belichick's successor, marking a unique transition within the coaching staff.

The former Patriots' Pro Bowl player will now become the youngest head coach in the NFL, surpassing Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay by a month. Mayo's impressive playing career includes being selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft from the University of Tennessee, recording 905 tackles in 103 games, and earning Pro Bowl honours in 2010 and 2012.

During a press conference on Thursday, Belichick expressed gratitude to players, staff, and fans for their contributions to the team's success. The departure was amicable, with team owner Robert Kraft highlighting the lasting and productive nature of their 24-year partnership.

"Like a good marriage, a successful head coach-owner relationship requires much work. I'm proud our partnership lasted 24 years. I don't think in the NFL there has been any other partnership that lasted longer and has been as productive as ours," said Kraft.

Belichick, with one year remaining on his contract, departs without compensation, expressing his intent to continue his coaching career. The transition to Mayo signals a new era for the Patriots, aiming to revitalise the team's performance after missing the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.

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