New England Patriots

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Patriots safety Devin McCourty announced in a new YouTube video on Sunday that he is re-signing with New England, avoiding free agency and giving him a third season of playing together with twin brother Jason.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network later reported that the deal is for two years and $23 million, including $17 million guaranteed. Earlier reports suggested that the deal would keep McCourty in New England for the remainder of his career.

An $11.5 million average annual value may sound expensive. But that number actually makes McCourty only the eighth-highest-paid safety in the NFL in 2020 (via Spotrac).

McCourty had one of the best seasons of his 10-year career in 2019. He started all 16 games and made five interceptions, seven pass breakups, and 58 total tackles as a rock in the back end of the Patriots’ secondary. He’s also a major leadership figure in the hierarchy of the roster, a presence that would have been difficult to replace had he departed.

Sep 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty (32) reacts after making a tackle against the Miami Dolphins in the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

He wanted to be in New England all along, though. Getting McCourty’s deal done, along with Matthew Slater, gives the Patriots more financial clarity as they prepare for the next steps of NFL free agency. That includes figuring out what Tom Brady is going to do.

According to multiple reports, the league is moving forward with the start of the league year as scheduled. It’s likely that the Pats have made their moves in terms of their non-Brady free agents that they intend to retain. That means guard Joe Thuney and linebacker Kyle Van Noy are very likely to sign elsewhere, and could do it early in the process.

McCourty, however, was a clear priority. So the Patriots now have a huge veteran presence locked in for what could be the rest of his time in the NFL.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.