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McCourty: Mayo 'one of the greatest Patriots' ever

The respect for Jerod Mayo flowed on social media after the linebacker announced his retirement Tuesday.

Mayo took on a leadership role with the New England Patriots from the moment he stepped on the field in 2008, earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

"Can't imagine playing a season without this guy (Mayo)," Devin McCourty wrote on Instagram. "Can't thank him enough for what he's done to help my career and help me as a man. Been a blessing how teammates turn to brothers ... one of the greatest Patriots to lace the cleats up."

"Mentor, teammate, friend ... honored to have played next to you," Chandler Jones posted on Twitter.

Julian Edelman called Mayo a "New England Legend."

Perhaps no one left as heartfelt a message as former Patriot Vince Wilfork, now with the Houston Texans.

"Over the years I had a chance to play with some great ball players but no better person than my brother (Mayo)," Wilfork wrote in a lengthy Instagram message. "There's no price tag (you) can put on what we have. The struggles on field the meetings the film study the dinners the BBQ, the crab boils, Chani oxtails and chicken, the good times and the bad times. Rehabbing together, working out together. You name it we done it and we will continue to do it (because) we are family. That's something no one can take from us. No matter how far we are apart we only a phone call away."

The stream of praise won't be the last time we celebrate Mayo's impactful career.

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