Patriots Make Final Decision on Veteran Cornerback’s Contract

Pats Option Jason McCourty

Getty Cornerback Jason McCourty #30 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

The New England Patriots are taking steps to ensure their cornerback room is one of the deepest for the 2020 season.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are planning to pick up the contract option for veteran cornerback Jason McCourty for nearly $4 million to keep the 32-year-old in New England for a third consecutive season. McCourty spent the past two seasons with the Patriots but struggled to stay on the field late in 2019 with a groin injury limiting him to just nine total snaps after Week 11.

The price point, though, is a desirable one for the Patriots to keep either a No. 2 or No. 3 option at cornerback. McCourty has racked up 110 tackles, 16 pass deflections and two interceptions over 28 games with the Patriots and has received strong coverage grades from Pro Football Focus. He also underwent surgery back in January to fix his groin issue, putting him on the path to recovery.

Bringing back McCourty also helps the Patriots retain one of the NFL’s strongest cornerback groups, which also includes Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore along with J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and 2019 second-rounder Joejuan Williams.

The question now is whether Jason’s twin brother, Devin, also remains with the Patriots for 2020. The veteran safety has won three Super Bowl rings during his 10 seasons in New England and is due to become a free agent later this month, projecting to have a sizable market.

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Devin McCourty Drawing Multiple Suitors

Devin McCourty has only spent two seasons on the same NFL field as his twin brother, but their shared time together with the Patriots could be coming to an end this offseason.

McCourty has spent his entire 10-season career with the Patriots since being selected No. 27 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft and continues to perform at a high level, tallying five interceptions, 58 tackles, seven pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his most recent campaign. He also started every game for the fourth straight season and for the seventh time in his career.

As such, McCourty should have no shortage of suitors when he becomes an unrestricted free agent once the new league year begins on March 18. The Miami Dolphins have reportedly expressed interest in multiple Patriots players, including McCourty, while there are other teams who could plausibly benefit from adding the two-time Pro Bowl safety to their ranks.

McCourty hasn’t ruled out coming back to the Patriots, and it could help that his twin brother is set to return for the 2020 season, but he also made it clear Tom Brady’s decision will have an impact on what he decides to do when speaking with The Boston Globe during Super Bowl weekend.

“I think one of the cool reasons of going back to the team is the guys that you have there,” McCourty said, via the Globe“Tom (leaving) changes that.”

With the market to support a competitive free agency, don’t be surprised if McCourty waits until well after Brady’s decision has been made.

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