At least one New England Patriots veteran is signaling his interest in coming back for the 2020 NFL season.
Devin McCourty, the free safety who has been with the Patriots since the 2010 season, appears interested in remaining in Foxborough. The 32-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, making his future with the Patriots uncertain.
However, the two-time Pro Bowler stated his interest in a potential return to the Patriots for an 11th season after the team’s 20-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
McCourty Sounds off on Potential Patriots Return
Devin McCourty addressed his future with the Patriots following the playoff loss to the Titans, which Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald detailed.
“We’ll see. It’ll work itself. I definitely see me playing football next year. I’ve had a lot of fun this year. … How much fun I’ve had, I can’t see it happening — me not playing football next year.”
McCourty is one of a number of Patriots veteran players whose contracts are up after the end of the 2019 season. Tom Brady is the most notable one, while others such as linebacker Kyle Van Noy, special teams captain Matthew Slater and center Ted Karras are due to hit free agency in the offseason.
Outside of Brady, McCourty — who has played with the Patriots ever since entering the NFL — should rank at the top of New England’s list as far as priority players to re-sign. Only three players in the NFL had more interceptions than McCourty’s five total. He had interceptions in each of the first four games of the season.
McCourty Leaves Door Open for Possible End to Patriots Tenure
Despite his strong season, the veteran safety spoke as though he wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots were to walk away from him and other veterans.
Via Tom Keegan of The Boston Herald:
“Yeah, probably because a lot of the guys are older now, a lot of guys who have been here for a while,” McCourty said. “We’ve been here for a while: Slate (Matthew Slater) 12 years, Tom (Brady) 20, myself 10, (Dont’a) Hightower eight, Jules (Julian Edelman) 11, (Patrick) Chung 11. We’ve had guys who have been here, which you usually don’t see on teams, but we’ve had a lot of guys stay and play here for a lot of years. (Marcus) Cannon, another guy, nine years.
I think as you have a core group of guys who are now 30-plus, that always has question marks. Are we going to be as good? Are we going to retire? All of those questions continuously come up, and I think it’s important to just take some time away, be with our families and figure out the situation going forward, just like I know all the Patriots will do the same thing. It’s been fun. We’ve got a good group of guys.”
Despite being 32 years of age, McCourty still plays every key defensive snap along with one-third of the special teams snaps. His 946 snaps played ranked second on the defensive unit — only behind standout corner Stephon Gilmore’s 952 snaps.
The Patriots will have other things to worry about — notably Brady’s impending free agency and Josh McDaniels’ potential exit — but McCourty remains one of the top priorities entering the offseason.