Mayo: Door's open for Tom Brady return to Patriots -- as a coach

Tannenbaum: Brady saying he might want to return a 'massive statement' (1:02)

Mike Tannenbaum and Domonique Foxworth react to Tom Brady saying he isn't ruling out a return to football. (1:02)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady sparked headlines when he said he wasn't opposed to making a late-season NFL return, mentioning the New England Patriots as one option, but head coach Jerod Mayo said Monday that he could only envision Brady's return in a different job description.

"I love Tom. The door is always open if he wants to come in here and coach. But as far as going on the field, I don't know," Mayo said in an interview on sports radio WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show."

The Patriots selected North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye third overall in the NFL draft and also drafted Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III in the sixth round (No. 193). They currently have five quarterbacks on the roster, with veteran Jacoby Brissett, 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe and former Canadian Football League standout Nathan Rourke.

Mayo said the team's plan is to let the quarterbacks compete and see who emerges as the Day 1 starter, a point he repeated when asked about the possibility of Brady as a player.

"If [Brady] comes in here, going back to the 'best player will play,' you have to come here and compete. He loves competition. But I doubt he's going to be walking through these doors any time soon," Mayo said.

When Brady commented on a possible return, as part of his appearance on the "Deep Cut" podcast, he noted that the NFL might not allow it if he becomes a minority owner of the Las Vegas Raiders. In May 2023, Brady reached an agreement with Raiders owner Mark Davis to join the organization's ownership group, which is still pending NFL approval.

Brady, 46, also has plans to begin work as a sports broadcaster at Fox Sports this summer, which he said he was looking forward to.

At one point in the podcast, Brady said: "My career and all that, that's a thing of the past in my mind. I was a gladiator out there, and now my time has moved on. Now it's, 'OK, how can I deliver for my next group of teammates?'"