According to various reports, Patriots Pro Bowl linebacker and team captain Jerod Mayo has reached a deal to restructure his contract in New England.
Mayo, who's landed on injured reserve after playing in just six games in each of the last two seasons, had been scheduled to have a cap number of more than $10 million for 2015, including an injury guarantee of $4.5 million of his $6-plus million salary.
Since Mayo is recovering from a torn patella tendon suffered last Oct. in Buffalo, were the team to cut him it would have had to pay the $4.5 million. Or, it could have waited until Mayo recovered fully and passed a physical to release him, getting off the hook for the $4.5 million guarantee.
Instead, according to reports, Mayo now has a $4.5 salary that is fully guaranteed for 2015. The new deal also has team options for both 2016 and 2017, with the money for those years remaining as they were in the previous contract.
The new deal for 2015 also reportedly apparently includes a playing-time incentive that allows Mayo to collect the entirety of the $6-plus million in new money he was set to earn this season if he reaches 85-percent playing time.
The news of the Mayo eminent restructure was first reported by Fox Sports, while NFL Network first reported the numbers of the new deal.
Mayo turned 29 in February. Prior to being limited to just six games in 2013 (pectoral) and 2014 (patella), the former first-round pick had played all 16 games in three of his first five NFL seasons and never missed more than three games in any one season.
Keeping Mayo in the fold -- assuming he returns to full playing health -- and playing alongside budding stars Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower, gives New England one of the most impressive groups of starting linebackers in the NFL heading into 2015.