New England Patriots

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Brandin Cooks of the Los Angeles Rams drops a pass in the endzone as he is defended by Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots in the second half during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • After 13 NFL seasons, former Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty is stepping away from the game. The 34-year-old announced his retirement on Friday afternoon, via a video message posted to the Instagram account he shares with his twin brother, current Patriots safety Devin McCourty.

  • After playing collegiately at Rutgers, McCourty entered the NFL as a sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2009, and started 80 games in nine years in Tennessee. He ranks second in pass breakups (73) and eighth in interceptions (13) since the franchise moved to Nashville in 1997. The team released him following the 2016 season, and he spent the following year in Cleveland.

    Ahead of the 2018 season, the Browns traded him to the Patriots in a pick-swap deal involving sixth and seventh rounders. In New England, Jason was reunited with his brother in the Patriots’ defensive backfield.

    Jason went on to play a key role for the Patriots during their 2018 Super Bowl run. That year, he played in all 16 games, starting 12, and was on the field for 80 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. In that time he recorded 70 tackles, broke up 10 passes, and had an interception.

    He then started all three playoff games, which were also the first playoff games in his career. The highlight of his playoff performance was one of the defining moments of that Super Bowl and that entire Patriots season.

    On a play late in the third quarter, McCourty recognized a broken play from the opposite side of the formation, and raced across the field to break up a pass intended for Brandin Cooks in the end zone. That forced the Rams to settle for a field goal tying the game at 3-3, instead of taking a late lead. Two drives later, the Patriots scored the eventual game-winning touchdown.

  • McCourty ended up playing two more years with the Patriots, before leaving as a free agent and signing with the Dolphins for a final season in 2021. He retires having played 147 career games, the 11th-most by a cornerback in the 32-team era. He recorded 108 pass breakups, 18 interceptions, and nine forced fumbles.

    In addition to his accomplishments on the field, McCourty was involved in the community and different causes throughout his career. Along with his brother, he started the Tackle Sickle Cell initiative, with raised money and awareness for the fight against sickle cell disease. He was also involved with the Players Coalition, among other causes.