New England Patriots

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

As the window for teams to exclusively negotiate with their internal free agents closes, we’re starting to find out which players will reach the open market when the new league year begins next week. For the Patriots, cornerback Jason McCourty is likely to be in that group.

According to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, McCourty “is expected to hit free agency next week,” although he notes “things could change.” Daniels adds that there is still a good chance McCourty returns to Foxborough.

McCourty originally arrived in New England via trade before the 2018 season, then signed a two-year, $10 million contract the next year. After being banged up in 2019 he played  all 16 games in 2020, allowing 29 catches on 45 targets.

The Patriots decisions at cornerback go beyond the 33-year-old McCourty. J.C. Jackson is a restricted free agent, and a Stephon Gilmore trade is reportedly a foregone conclusion at this point.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at