Patriots Captain Refuses To Say He’s Returning For Next Season

Bill Belichick

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As Devin McCourty enters free agency for the second time, he’s refusing to commit to the New England Patriots.

McCourty, who is the longest-tenured member of the defensive unit, “can’t answer” whether or not he’ll be back with the Patriots in 2020. McCourty is the captain of the defensive unit and has been the captain for eight of his 10 seasons in New England.

“I think for right now, I can’t answer that,” McCourty told during a promotional appearance on Super Bowl LIV radio row. “I would be crazy to be like, ‘Yeah, I did that for 10 years, I want to leave.’ Leave and go where? I don’t know what that looks like. So we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see what the interest is from the Pats. Like, a lot of times players get asked, but a lot falls on whoever your employer becomes. So we’ll see.”

McCourty turned in a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2019, tallying five interceptions and ranking as the eighth-best safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Reference. Furthermore, he started every game and hasn’t missed a start since the 2015 season.

As mentioned earlier, the 32-year-old entered free agency in 2015 before ultimately deciding to re-sign with the Patriots. With that being said, he was also five years younger at 27 years old.

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Patriots Show Little Loyalty To Players

The Patriots have a tendency to let go of players as they get into their advanced years rather than paying too much money. They’ve gotten rid of long-time players such as Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel and Wes Welker in the past.

That may end up being the case with McCourty, who will be 33 years old before the start of next season. Furthermore, there will be no shortage of interest from around the league from former Patriots coaches such as Matt Patricia with the Detroit Lions and Joe Judge of the New York Giants.

Jason McCourty Could Also Be Free Agent

It’s also worth mentioning that Devin’s brother, Jason, could also be a free agent. The team has an option for Jason for the 2020 season and the Patriots could choose to decline it.

“In an ideal world, I think we would love to continue to play together,” said Jason McCourty, who was traded to the Patriots ahead of the 2018 season. “That may not be determined by us. I have a team option, so if the team picks up my option and Dev goes and plays somewhere else, then it won’t be. But I think for us, if we could choose, we’d definitely finish out our career playing alongside each other.”

Jason McCourty started 10 of his 12 appearances during the 2019 season and posted 40 tackles to go along with one interception. He’s been a member of the Patriots over the past two seasons and has teamed up with his brother previously before while they were both at Rutgers University.

With the Patriots dealing with 19 free agents this offseason and the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady’s future, this will undoubtedly be New England’s most pivotal offseason in years.

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