DENVER -- Quick hit thoughts on the five-year contract extension signed by linebacker Jerod Mayo, which was reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
Pact is through 2017. This is the first key detail, as Mayo's contract was scheduled to expire after the 2012 season. This extension adds five years on the end of Mayo's original contract, which he signed as a rookie in 2008 as the 10th overall selection in the draft. The dollars in the deal are not known at this point.
Compromise is reached. We've seen the Patriots strike extensions like this before, locking up a player well before his contract expires. Defensive lineman Ty Warren is one example to come to mind. Usually when this happens, the player gives up a little from a total monetary standpoint in exchange for some immediate security. On the opposite side, the team now assumes the risk of the player staying healthy and being worth what is still a significant investment. Assuming these factors are in play, the decision was probably an easy one for the Patriots with Mayo. He's the type of player to build around and the proactive approach spreads out the money over seven years which helps from a salary-cap perspective. In the end, it all comes down to compromise. Sometimes they are reached in situations like these (e.g. Warren, Dan Koppen, Mayo etc.) and sometimes they aren't and players have to wait longer for their big deal (e.g. Vince Wilfork, Logan Mankins etc.).
What it means for Welker. There is nothing that says the Patriots couldn't lock up both Mayo and receiver Wes Welker to contract extensions, but at this point, nothing is imminent with Welker, according to sources. Given that the Patriots and Welker have not been able to come to an agreement, it's easy to envision a scenario in which the Patriots were motivated to work harder with some of their other players in line for extensions, starting with Mayo. The Patriots know they have the franchise tag to use on Welker as well.
Mayo -- a.k.a. Jerod Belichick & Bill Jr. Some players joke that Mayo is also known as "Jerod Belichick" and "Bill Jr." because his approach to the game is Belichickian. This is a player who decided to live five minutes from the stadium when he was drafted because he knew he'd be spending so much time there. Mayo, who plays on all three downs, is still growing as a player (he turns 26 in March). He's a glue guy, leading the huddle. Locking him up can only be seen as good news from a Patriots perspective, but at the same time, ESPN.com AFC East blogger James Walker makes a good point that the signing of Mayo to an extension won't mean much if the building doesn't continue (link here).