Around the NFL: Pats LB Mayo announces retirement

Mayo retires: Despite being just 29-years-old, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has elected to retire from the NFL after eight seasons.

His agent, Sean Kiernan, confirmed the news to ESPN Tuesday evening.

Mayo took to social media to announce his retirement. In an Instagram post captioned "retiring a Patriot" Tuesday, Mayo bid farewell to his fans, and the team he called home for eight years.



A photo posted by Jerod Mayo (@jerod_mayo51) on

Mayo may have seen the writing on the wall in regards to his future with the Patriots. His $11.4 million cap hit, which is the second-highest on the team behind Tom Brady, was due for a $4 million bonus next month. That, and the fact that the Patriots currently have nine other inside linebackers on their roster, pointed to an eventual break-up between the two sides.

Another contributor to his decision could be his recent injury history. Since 2013, Mayo has ended the season on injured reserve. He played just 12 combined games between 2013 and 2014 and despite playing all 16 games in 2015, he was forced to leave the Patriots' divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a shoulder injury.

During his eight seasons with the Patriots, the 6-1, 250-pound linebacker recorded 537 tackles, 11 sacks, eight forced fumbles and three interceptions. Mayo earned defensive rookie of the year honors back in 2008 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and again in 2012.

Kuechly to have surgery: Panthers stud linebacker Luke Kuechly will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder, according to ESPN.

The 24-year-old middle linebacker suffered the injury during the Panthers' regular season finale, but played throughout the playoffs with a brace on his shoulder. Despite the injury, Kuechly didn't miss a snap during the postseason and played every defensive snap during Super Bowl 50–where he led the team with 10 tackles.

The surgery should sideline Kuechly for 3-6 months, but he is expected to be ready for training camp come late July.

Although he missed three games in 2015 due to a concussion, Kuechly's 76 tackles led the Panthers' defense. His tackles during the 2015 postseason led the NFL.

Cousins and Redskins break off contract talks: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that contract negotiations between the Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins broke off with no further talks scheduled.

The two sides were reportedly not close to a deal and that the gap had not been closed since negotiations started after the 2015 season concluded. The Redskins do have the option to slap the franchise tag on Cousins, but it would come to an estimated $20 million cost. The team would have until March 1 to decide whether or not they want to employ the franchise tag.

The Redskins have expressed desire to lock up Cousins long-term, but only at the right price. Despite having a career-year in 2015, which was his first full season as a starter, Cousins had been mediocre through his previous 20 games played.

The franchise tag, despite the high cost, looks to be the better option for the Redskins just so they can see if Cousins can duplicate the 29 touchdown to 11 interception numbers he put up in 2015.

The 27-year-old Cousins led the Redskins to a 9-7 record and a NFC East crown in 2015. Over his last 10 games, Cousins was one of the hottest quarterback in the NFL as he threw 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions to lead the Redskins into the playoffs.

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