A former New York Giants starter has crossed enemy lines.
The Washington Football Team has announced that they’ve signed linebacker David Mayo to contract. The details of Mayo’s deal have yet to be disclosed.
Bunched in with the release of Golden Tate earlier this offseason, the Giants opted to move off Mayo as a way to free up $2.3 million against the cap. Mayo’s release came just one season after the team opted to reward him with a three-year contract extension worth $8.4 million.
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One of the League’s Most Prominent Run-Stuffers
A former fifth-round pick of Giants GM’s Dave Gettleman during his Carolina days, Mayo originally made his way to New York in early September of 2019. At the time, the signing was perceived as nothing more than a depth move, with added value on special teams.
Over Mayo’s four years with the Panthers, the Texas State product never started more than three games, nor exceeded 19 total tackles in any season. That quickly changed with the Giants as injuries to the linebacker position thrust Mayo into a prominent defense role, one that he would surprisingly thrive in. Mayo fully exceeded expectations during his first season in East Rutherford, starting a career-high 13 games and notching personal-bests in every major statistical category, including tackles (82), tackles for loss (five) and sacks (two). His 82 tackles on the year were the second among all Giants players and most among all front-seven defenders.
Even more impressive, Mayo earned the second-highest grade among all NFL linebackers in run defense, per Pro Football Focus. Problem was, Mayo proved to be nothing more than a two-down run-stuffer for the G-Men.
Pass Coverage Limited Mayo’s Ceiling in New York
Mayo’s 2020 season didn’t go nearly as well as 2019’s. Things got off to a rocky start as a torn meniscus suffered in training camp landed him on injured reserve for the first five weeks of the season. While he went on to appear in the team’s final 11 games, his role on defense had been mostly ostracized. Mayo started just two games this past season, collecting 20 tackles, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
With the Giants’ linebacker position group undergoing a youth-movement, more athletic players such as Tae Crowder and Cam Brown made Mayo expendable. Mayo’s athletic limitations were glaring in the pass game, as his 112.9 coverage rating was the worst among all Giants inside backers, per PFF.
With that said, Mayo does add value via special teams. His nine special teams tackles (six solo) in 2020 led all Giants players. He’s also logged a total of 1,582 special teams snaps over his five NFL seasons, averaging a 61.6% usage rate on that side of the ball since 2016.
In Washington, Mayo will compete for playing time alongside and behind starter Jon Bostic. While Bostic has topped 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons, they haven’t been the prettiest of campaigns, never once receiving an overall PFF grade of 55.9.
Mayo, 27, has appeared in 86 games (19 starts) over his NFL tenure, collecting 173 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, two sacks and one forced fumble.
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