One longtime New England Patriots staple returned when the club announced last week that Matthew Slater would continue his career in Foxborough. Now the focus shifts to another longtime veteran: safety Devin McCourty.
McCourty, a pending free agent, said this week on The Patriots Report podcast with Chris Price that a decision is coming in the next couple of weeks about whether he’ll retire or play a 14th NFL season.
“I’ve gone back and forth,” he said. “I think the good thing is I actually have a vacation coming up with the family, and then I’m going to go hang out with [Jason McCourty] for a week. I think just being able to get away from football, especially as you kind of get older, I think it helps you put things in perspective, doing other things.”
McCourty’s brother, Jason, headlines NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
Devin said he plans to make a decision before free agency, which gives the Patriots time to fill the void if he does indeed walk away.
“It’ll be early March, second week in March,” McCourty said. “And we’ll start to, I think for me and my wife, decide and plan what the next year looks like. I think that’s around the time where free agency will be coming up, so it’ll be the right time to really start digging in and make a decision.”
McCourty might not be as rangy as he once was, but the 35-year-old can still get to the ball, generating 71 tackles and eight passes defensed last season as the veteran presence in Bill Belichick’s secondary.
The three-time Super Bowl champ could immediately carve out a media career if he decides to walk away. Finding a balance between his desire to keep playing and see what else might be out there in the world is where McCourty currently finds himself.
“I look forward to next year and I see me doing different things,” McCourty said. “I also see me playing. I think that’s the really hard thing about trying to decide what’s best for you and your family.”