Patriots safety Devin McCourty expects to play football next season

Jan 28, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty during Opening Night for Super Bowl LIII at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn't the only player facing questions about an uncertain future in the immediate aftermath of a 20-13 loss to the Titans in the wild card round on Saturday night.

It goes without saying that the 42-year-old Brady, who will become a true free agent on Mar. 18, remains the biggest question mark for the Patriots. But there's also another key piece of the team, Patriots safety and captain Devin McCourty, who had a touch of uncertainty to his name entering this postseason.

And speaking with reporters after the loss, McCourty sounded like a man determined to play an 11th NFL season.

"It will work itself out," McCourty offered. "I definitely see me playing football next year. I’ve had a lot of fun this year with this group of guys. Each year, we get young guys in here, get to stay in the locker room, mold this guys, tell them stories of my past 10 years and how much fun I’ve had. So, I can’t see it happening me not playing football next year."

On the heels of what felt like a resurgent year (at least when you're talking about 32-year-old safeties), it's almost hard to imagine the Patriots without No. 32.

Especially given his status as one of their most respected players (and people) on and off the field.

He's certainly not alone on that front, though, and the 32-year-old made sure he talked about the accomplishments of this veteran core in New England -- a group that includes Brady, McCourty, Dont'a Hightower, Julian Edelman, Marcus Cannon, and Matthew Slater -- and how this loss doesn't define what this group.

"I think, as you have a core group of guys that 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," McCourty offered. "It’s been fun. We’ve got a good group of guys. Slate said it the best after the game. This doesn’t define us. We’ve had a good group, we’ve had some very good runs, great runs."

But McCourty also understands the business aspect of things, too, which could complicate things, as the 5-foot-10 leader is in need of a new contract for 2020 after the conclusion of a five-year, $47.5 million deal inked back in 2012.

It's just something that will have to work itself out, of course.

"We’ve just got to hold our heads up and get ready for whatever the future holds," said McCourty.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.