UPDATE: The Patriots re-signed Devin McCourty to a two year deal. He has been one of the Patriots most consistent players and helped them to a great defensive effort last season. He will be needed with Tom Brady moving on.
The #Patriots are giving safety and team leader Devin McCourty a 2-year deal worth $23M, sources say. He gets $17M guaranteed – keeping him in New England for his career and allowing him to play with his brother again.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2020
We could be looking at one of the biggest free agency periods in recent memory if some of the notable names actually hit the open market. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Derrick Henry are just a few of the big names set to hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year opens on March 18th. One or more stands a good chance of signing a contract with their current team before then, but there is a chance one or more is taking calls when the tampering period opens on March 16th.
2019 in review
In McCourty’s 10th season in the league (all with the New England Patriots), he featured in all regular season games for the seventh time in his career. While he logged his lowest ever season tackle total (46), he was able to grab five interceptions, something he has only accomplished in two other seasons. He’s been a staple for Belichick’s defense, but now, heading into free agency, McCourty could find himself on a new team for the first time in his career.
If he doesn’t find his way back to New England for another season, he would presumably end up on a team with a familiar system. As we know, there are plenty of former Patriots assistants who now have control over their respective teams. The most predictable destinations would be with Brian Flores in Miami, Matt Patricia in Detroit or Joe Judge in New York (Giants, that is).
Do the Patriots want to keep him?
From an outsider’s perspective, the Patriots would love to have McCourty back. Not only would it keep his twin brother, Jason, happy (who becomes an unrestricted free agent next season), but it would also maintain consistency in the secondary. He played virtually every defensive snap last season, showing no signs of slowing up. He does turn 33 in August, so that could be a deterrent for the Pats to give him a raise.
It’s worth noting that there’s a possibility the Patriots place the franchise tag on McCourty, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that.
His presence on the field undoubtedly strengthened the Patriots defense last season, but one has to imagine that Bill Belichick and this coaching staff will find a way to make due without McCourty if he does end up leaving. With that said, losing Devin, the primary communicator in the secondary, will likely make the defense a bit more vulnerable to the pass.
There are no rumors circulating at this point.