You can’t look for any news related to the New England Patriots without seeing at least 10 stories related to Brady’s upcoming free agency. However, sometimes we need to remember that the Patriots also have other marquee free agents that they will need to consider re-signing. Those names include starting left guard Joe Thuney as well as linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins. In addition, special teams ace Matthew Slater is a free agent but hopes to return. And of course, you have McCourty.
CBS Boston reported earlier that McCourty isn’t retirement and would like to continue playing football. Of course the question now is, does McCourty finish his career with the New England Patriots or will be looking elsewhere?
“Devin McCourty wants to keep his NFL career going. The 32-year-old safety will be back for at least an 11th season in 2020. Time will tell if that’s with the New England Patriots, or if McCourty will continue his career with a new franchise.
“He wants to play,” McCourty’s agent, Andy Simms, told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Retirement is not an option.”
Obviously, McCourty has been a huge part of the Patriots Super Bowl winning teams since the Patriots drafted him with the 27th overall pick in 2010. But, at age 32 and in the twilight of his career, the question has to be asked, how much money will he want and how much will Bill Belichick want to invest in an ageing cornerback? There isn’t much money to go around so you may see some familiar faces in different places.
“With his five-year, $47.5 million contract coming to an end, McCourty will become a free agent on March 18. The Patriots could come to an agreement with their long-time defensive captain before that day, but the team has a bevvy of free agents this winter.”
“The Patriots are projected to have $28 million in salary cap space, but Brady is expected to take up the majority of that figure should he re-sign. With the Miami Dolphins” (with roughly $90 million dollars in salary cap) and the New York Giants ( with $60 million) and with former Patriots assistants at the helm, they may be able to convince McCourty to finish his career outside of New England.”
If McCourty did move on from New England it’s hard to see an easy solution. I expect McCourty to garner a lot of attention on the open market and I’m not sure that the Patriots would be able to match any offers other teams may make. On top of that, I don’t expect McCourty would be willing to take a home town discount to stay in New England. Devin’s twin brother Jason is still under contract with the Patriots, but I as I’ve said before, I feel like there is a very real possibility that Belichick will release him and save the $4 million in cap space. If that happens, the Patriots can not rely on Devin wanting to continue playing with his brother and I can’t help but wonder if we’ve seen the end of D-Mac in New England.
McCourty is still playing at a high level. This season he was credited for five passes defended and five interceptions. McCourty is the “quarterback on defense”, and if his time really is over in New England, the Patriots will have a lot to figure out defensively in 2020.