Devin McCourty would be OK with “player-friendly” franchise tag


No decent free agent really wants the franchise tag. But Patriots safety Devin McCourty also knows it could be a lot worse.

McCourty might command more security and long-term money on the open market, but knows that making around $9 million next year for the defending Super Bowl champions isn’t a bad deal either.

I’ve kind of broken it down as worst-case scenario would be that I get franchised and come back to play for another year here,” McCourty said, via Phil Perry of “To me that’s no reason to stress. I love it here. The franchise tag is player-friendly now. It’s a good number. If I hit free agency, I hope there’s some teams that want me to play there. Hopefully that goes over well. It’s still exciting.”

The Patriots have until March 2 to tag McCourty if they choose, though a long-term deal would help both sides in terms of cash and cap hit. But if they don’t, he’d hit the market at the right time, able to capitalize on his team’s success. And given New England’s history of letting certain guys walk, McCourty knows it’s not a given he’s staying.

“I’ve thought about all different scenarios whether I’m here or whether I’m somewhere else,” he said. “At this point I don’t have a contract. It could happen that I could be playing somewhere else. I think it would be crazy not to think that that could be reality. . . .

“I really don’t know. I could say anything right now, but if I’m being honest with you I’d have to say I don’t know. It could go either way, I think.”

However, he’d also be tough for the Patriots to replace. The two-time All-Pro safety is the leader in their secondary, and his background as a cornerback allows them to use him in places other teams can’t put safeties in.

So while more attention’s being paid to the Darrelle Revis situation, keeping McCourty around is also important.

28 responses to “Devin McCourty would be OK with “player-friendly” franchise tag

  1. I can’t see him being tagged. He’s good, but I don’t think he’s $9mil for a season good.

  2. Devin McCourty is the consummate Patriot and wants to stay a Patriot . He is a must keep player. Also need to find a way to keep Gostkowski.

    If Shane Vereen is looking for 5M, best of luck and thanks for the four great seasons.Don’t see Ridley here unless under a one year team friendly contract.

    1A- Revis
    1B- McCourty
    1C- The Gost

    Looking forward to another repeat in 2015/16

  3. The Patriots could probably live with a one year, 9 million deal if they can get Revis signed. Negotiations between the Patriots and the two DBs are intertwined like spaghetti wire.

  4. This guy is one of the smartest players in the NFL. long time pats fan here. Thinking they are crazy not to work something out with the catalyst for the entire defense!! he may not get the press, but he gets it done.

  5. Just another first round Rutgers draft bust by Belichick, right?

    P.s. Having guys like McCourty and Revis able to line up against Brady every week in practice is what made the whole thing tick. Brady had to spend every week trying to beat some of the best defenders in the league, while those guys had to try to stop the best QB in the league. The media mostly ignored it, but it was like if Muhammad Ali’s sparring partner was Sugar Ray Robinson.

  6. They’ll tag him for now and long term contract after they have Revis extended.

    McCourty is one of the 2 or 3 best safeties in the league and while Revis is the lock McCourty is the key to keeping the secondary properly deployed. He’s the QB back there.

  7. Agent’s of franchised players shouldn’t make a fee from the player. Every dime should go directly to the player.

    It gives the agent more of an incentive to work for a deal for the player.

  8. Without McCourty, they have Pat Chung, Harmon and Tavon Wilson as the safeties.

    Get something done.

  9. I noticed there isn’t a lot of talk about Kyle Wilson’s upcoming free agency. I thought Wilson was way better and the Patriots were morons for drafting McCourty over him? So weird.

  10. I think McCourty stays, and he’s worth it, even if they have to tag him. But, they really have to make some other decisions 1rst, so they know where they stand against the cap. Right now they’re over and have to be in complaince by 3/10. They have to decide on Revis, Browner and Wilfork options by 3/9, but really need to do it before franchising McCourty, which has to happen by 3/2. They also have to decide about Mayo’s 10 mil cap hit, as well as Amendola and Arrington(5 each). If they sign Revis, it should give them about 10-12 mil in cap relief. Still not a lot of wiggle room if your talking 9+ for McCourty. I think Ridley and Vareen are gone, so they’re probably gonna need another veteran RB. I wouldn’t pay Gostkowski 5 mil. He’s a good kicker, but I don’t remember him winning too many games with pressure kicks. I thought they couldn’t do without Vinitieri either but it worked out. They had RGould in camp too, they seem to be able to find kickers and punters.

  11. It would help to have a Revis deal in place. That sets the table and let’s the rest of the guys know if they sign they have the best head coach, the best QB, and and the best CB leading the way for the next several years.

    The NFL really should increase what players earn for winning. Guys should want to sign with a winning organization not just because it’s more fun but because it’s more financially rewarding. As it is now, too many guys have to give up the desire to win in exchange for a larger contract with badly run franchises.

  12. I’d like to see Revis here, but I think he’s gone. He knows somebody will pay him more that the Pats offer and he has his ring. I disagree he’s a must sign. There are several top CBs that could be cap casualties, like BFlowers, Carr and Verner.

  13. I think the use of the franchise tag means that Revis will either get a new deal or will get cut. There’s no way they’ll have McCourty at $9M and Revis at $25M. I know they are working with Revis’ people now on getting a deal done. It would be nice if they could get long term deals with both of them done and that would free up space to go after help elsewhere. For what it’s worth, Chung had a decent year in his return, but I could see the Patriots drafting a strong safety in the third or fourth rounds.

  14. After Mayo went down the leadership of the D passed to McCourty who was ready for the job. One would have to doubt the idea of the Pats allowing him to leave. With the present situation of Wilfork and Mayo in question and the absolute need of retaining Revis a place for this player must be found. He leads by example on and off the field.

  15. Notice how the Red Sox blowup their team after a World Series win?

    The Pats reload and are at expected to make the AFCCG and are favorites to repeat. It’s hard to believe the run we have had, now going into its 15th straight year of being in the mix to win it all (only missing the playoffs in two years).

  16. Will goodell have the guts to actually publish deflate gate evidence?

    The Colts might be worried. I don’t think Bob Kraft is.

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