New England Patriots 29-year-old linebacker Jerod Mayo announced his retirement on Instagram Tuesday night.
Mayo was a two-time Pro Bowl selection who had ended each of the last three seasons on injured reserve, making it unlikely that the Patriots would have kept him and his $11.4 million cap number on the roster for next season. He was due a $4 million roster bonus next month.
A shoulder injury against the Chiefs in the playoffs ended his 2015 season. In 2014, he played in just six games because of a knee injury. The previous season he missed 10 games because of a pectoral injury.
When healthy, he was one of the best linebackers in the league, making the Pro Bowl in 2010 and again in 2012. In 2010, his third season, the Tennessee alum was also named an All-Pro after racking up 175 total tackles.
This past season he was credited with 47 tackles—good for 10th on the team—including four for loss.
Mayo was selected by the Patriots with their first-round pick—10th overall—in the 2008 NFL Draft after three standout seasons with the Volunteers.
He retires with a Super Bowl ring and after having helped the Patriots to seven division titles and a pair of AFC Championships.
At the same time, he leaves the game at a somewhat-young age in what has become a trend in the NFL over the past two offseasons.
Mayo joins Calvin Johnson, 30, as young stars to retire this offseason.
Johnson was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, who was also named an All-Pro three times as a member of the Detroit Lions. He set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season (1,964 in 2012) when he was at the height of his career. Although Johnson’s isn’t official yet, it’s widely believed that he’s not coming back for the 2016 season.
Last offseason, Patrick Willis (30), Jake Locker (26), and Maurice Jones-Drew (29) all announced their respective retirements.
Willis was a five-time All-Pro linebacker for the San Francisco Giants, who made the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven seasons. Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing yards in 2011 (1,606) with the Jacksonville Jaguars and spent his final season (2014) with the Oakland Raiders. Locker was a first-round pick (eighth overall selections) of the Tennessee Titans in 2011 out of Washington, who decided to call it quits after just four seasons in the league.