Patriots’ 3-Time Super Bowl Champ Remains on Roster Despite Retirement

Devin McCourty Patriots

Getty New England Patriots defender Devin McCourty celebrating after making a huge play in an NFL contest.

New England Patriots great and three-time Super Bowl champion Devin McCourty remains on the roster despite his retirement in March.

The Patriots could process the former safety’s retirement on June 1, and New England can lower McCourty’s salary cap number $5.035 million in salary cap space. That’s according to Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan, who noted the Patriots will take a $3.5 million dead cap from McCourty’s  this year and $6.2 million next year.

McCourty played his entire 13-year career for the Patriots from 2010 to 2022. A former first-round draft pick from Rutgers, McCourty made two Pro Bowls and helped the Patriots win Super Bowls in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

He tallied 35 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 971 tackles, 1110 pass deflections, and three sacks in 205 regular season games. His durability aided the Patriots during the past decade with only four games missed.

McCourty stepped up in 24 postseason games during that span. He garnered 119 tackles, two interceptions, and 10 pass deflections in those games.

With his NFL career complete, McCourty plans to play football for the new Beach Football League. Former Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain started the league, which will premiere in February 2024.

Patriots Cut Versatile Wide Receiver Lynn Bowden Jr.

Once a promising prospect, the Patriots parted ways with wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. on Wednesday, May 10.

Bowden entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick in 2020 by the Las Vegas Raiders after a stellar collegiate career at Kentucky where he won the Paul Hornung Award in 2019. Bowden did a little bit of everything for the Wildcats that year as a quarterback, receiver, rusher, and kick returner. That earned him the national award for being the most versatile player in college football.

New England acquired Bowden in September 2022 as a member of the practice squad. Bowden only played 14 regular season snaps in one game for the Patriots last season, but he landed a reserve/futures contract in January.

Bowden never played for the Raiders in 2020 as the team traded him to the Miami Dolphins in September of that year. He tallied 28 receptions for 211 yards plus nine carries for 32 yards in 10 games played in 2020. His second season in 2021 got cut short in training camp due to a hamstring injury, and Dolphins released him in August 2022.

As for the Patriots releasing Bowden, the team needed to trim down to 90 players on the roster amid the release. New England also has its share of receiver depth with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, Kendrick Bourne, Kayshon Boutte, and Demario Douglas.

Cornerback Tae Hayes Re-Signs With Patriots

The Patriots filled the final roster spot with cornerback Tae Hayes, who re-signed with the team. Hayes played in two games last season where he tallied three tackles.

An undrafted free agent in 2019, Hayes bounced around six NFL teams before he landed with the Patriots. New England picked him up in December 2022 after he spent most of the season on the Carolina Panthers‘ practice squad.

Hayes signed a two-year deal with the Patriots in January, but he got waived in February. The former Appalachian State standout has 13 games of NFL experience with 16 tackles, two pass deflections, and a fumble recovery.

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