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Succession: How the Pats Did What Logan Roy Couldn’t

Jan 12, 2024

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was already part of NFL team ownership when the Rooney Rule went into effect in 2003, and he has supported it in the years since. But the succession plan that led to his hiring of Jerod Mayo as the Pats’ next coach on Friday morning allows Kraft to leapfrog over those rules, which typically require at least two interviews of minority or female candidates for head coaching jobs.

Kraft is poised to name Mayo—previously a star linebacker for the Patriots and more recently the team’s linebackers coach—as the successor to Bill Belichick, who departed on Thursday after a celebrated 24-year run that included six Super Bowl titles. Mayo will be the first Black head coach in Patriots history and, at 37, the youngest NFL head coach, beating the Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay by one month.

The rapid promotion of Mayo, arriving less than 24 hours after Belichick’s departure, results from a clause within the Rooney Rule that allows teams to bypass that minority interview requirement with a written succession plan. If a team has such a contractual plan in place prior to the season in which the vacancy occurs, hires and promotions can be made immediately.

Source: Front Office Sports

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