Devin McCourty: It would be bittersweet to leave the Patriots

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Safety Devin McCourty had no argument with getting what he called a “player-friendly” franchise tag from the Patriots, but things played out a different way on Monday.

The Patriots opted to use the tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski instead, a move that McCourty said he didn’t know was coming until the Patriots made it. McCourty said there was “no real information” from the team ahead of time about where they’d go with the tag and correctly surmised that the chances he winds up playing elsewhere are greater in light of the move.

As for that, McCourty said he wants to remain with the Patriots but he knows that the best deal may be coming from somewhere else.

“It would definitely be bittersweet,” McCourty said, via Josina Anderson of ESPN. “You stay somewhere for five years and really make a name for yourself in that place. I’ve gotten a lot of help. I know a lot of people in the area, built great relationships, so it will definitely be bittersweet. But my mom always reminds me that comes with the territory. That’s part of being in the NFL, that change is always coming.”

With the Patriots still working out cornerback Darrelle Revis’s situation for the 2015 season, it seems likely that McCourty is going to be talking to other teams come the weekend. As the top safety hitting the market, there’s a good chance that one of them will make him an offer that leads to bittersweet feelings.

112 responses to “Devin McCourty: It would be bittersweet to leave the Patriots

  1. Of course it would you have had 5 straight playoff appearances with all being bye weeks.. and four straight AFC championships games and two SB games.. It’s a good team.

  2. Of course it would you have had 5 straight playoff appearances with all being bye weeks.. and four straight AFC championships games and two SB games.. It’s a good team.

  3. Pats couldn’t tag him because it would have set the floor in their negotiations with McCourty at $9.6m per year, which is clearly not a figure they’re comfortable with.

    Pats will let the market set the price and then make their offer. Ultimately it will boil down to going to a perennial loser for a big score or staying with a perennial Super Bowl contender for less money.

  4. The Patriots will make their offer, and stick to it. Devin will have to decide which team’s offer serves him best.

  5. This is the way the Pats do business. If they showed Lawyer Malloy and Ty Law the door, this doesn’t seem farfetched.

    Hopefully, they pull it together to keep McCourty in a Pats uniform for years to come. I can easily see him signing with another team, so the Pats need to get some numbers crunched.

  6. I’d hate to see McCourty go, but the Patriots drafted Duron Harmon a couple years ago and he has shown some ability to play in place of McCourty (McCourty is the better talent though).

    Sadly, it’s the reality of having to choose between Devin and Darrelle and I think that Coach B. feels ok with Harmon stepping in than the available fallback for Revis… drop-off wise.

  7. Good player, hope he stays in NE but glad to know that Coach B has the discipline to not over pay him.

  8. The only thing worse than the trolls out there are the Patriots “fans” that panic and call Belichick a bad GM whenever they let a player test the market or even let a guy go. They have a system that has gotten them to 9 AFC title games 6 Super Bowls and just won them their fourth Super Bowl title. They’re NOT going to stray from that business model now.

    I believe that Revis is more important than Mccourty, and if they tagged him they would have roughly five million less in cap space to resign him. I don’t know what Belichick and Caserio’s thought process is for sure but I’d say if they haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt by now they never will.

  9. Then don’t leave. Accept their offer … which will still make you very rich … and stay. But if you do go then man up about it.

  10. Stay, Devin, you’re the QB of the defense and everyone in New England loves you for your play on the field and your actions in the community off the field.

    Team management and ownership love what you bring to the team and they will offer you enough money for lifetime security.

    Don’t chance a bad situation and a place where you won’t be happy or appreciated.

    Remember Mo Vaughan with the Red Sox- local hero who took a few more dollars to play for the Angels and went into obscurity almost immediately.

    Stay with the Patriots, let’s do another parade.

  11. Devin is one of the finest young men on the team, a true gentleman. His position, he plays because he gets burned on a regular basis if he tries to cover. Devin needs to keep everything in front of him. Bill gave him his best chance to succeed position, and he did well with it. But the reality is, he was a high draft pick to fix a problem it took Revis coming in to fix.

  12. Patriots won’t pay a safety $9 million/year. They think Logan Ryan can replace him.

  13. Brady needs to help these guys out with endorsement deals. If you can make 2 million less playing football but you make it back with endorsements. Because of you being on the Patriots I think players would stay to play for a winner.

    But at the end of the day players have to provide for their family or future bankruptcy.

  14. Well Devin, you know you can get more money elsewhere, like playing with your brother in Tennessee. But you may win as many games the rest of your career as you won last year. Or you can take a little less, and play with the best QB and coach in history, and compete for Super Bowls every year. The ball’s in your court.

  15. Hmm, I seen it coming, he going to want to hit free agency and get big fat contract he been looking for..

    For Double Bittersweet is to have Jets sign McCourty and face Patriots twice a year..

  16. I am not quite sure I understand what the Patriots are doing with this situation. Why take the risk with placing your franchise tag on a kicker rather than one of the best safeties in the league? I honestly didn’t see this one coming. As a Patriots fan, I am a little displeased with this notion. What happens if they can’t bring Darrelle Revis back as well? In any case, the Patriots have long been successful with making the moves that people such as myself question. I just hope they know what they’re doing.

  17. See what other teams have to offer, bounce that back at the patriots, get their best offer and make a decision.
    I hope you stay in New England but this is how the pats play ball. They set a price that you are worth but will not overpay based off the market. Money vs playing for a championship organization

  18. The Eagles, Bears, Titans, Redskins, Jags, Raiders, and Bucs sure could use you.

    Honestly, I could see him trying to take a little bit less with New England, but Bill is notorious for letting young players in his secondary test the market.

  19. Noooooooooo!!! don’t let him go bill, he was an average corner back but when he got moved to the safety position he really flourished

  20. It certainly looks like the Patriots thought they couldn’t sign both Revis and McCourty and chose an elite corner over a top five safety. While the Patriots wouldn’t even spend the franchise tender of $9.6M for McCourty, he could get 5/$45M from some team desperate for a safety.

    If they lose Revis, it will be a double failure. Harmon can adequately replace McCourty, but there is no way they’re going back to the Super Bowl if they lose half of their defensive backfield. McCourty was a very good Patriot. I hope he does well, but not in the AFC East.

  21. If the Pats lose McCourty and then don’t resign Revis I will be one pissed off Pats fan. Durin Harmon is not gonna be anywhere close to the player McCourty is. Revis is a good player but is 30 and they will pay dearly to keep him. McCourty had a huge role in fixing that defensive secondary over the last 2 years. He is a young player entering his prime who wants to be in NE, how often do you here a player say “it’s home”? Revis surely does not call NE home. Even if bill and Nick have a plan for the first time ever I would question this move. Some other team could be getting a great leader and great player.

  22. It is what it is ……….hes already left …….If you listen to the entire interview he said …….” I want to play there ” …… hes not first to leave via free agency and wont be the last……he will get paid …it just wont be in Foxboro..Good Luck Devin…and Thank you

  23. While McCourty may be an elite safety if put in a role to play similar to Earl Thomas, Belichick uses the Free Safety position as a sort of Deep centerfield 95 % of the time….

    I assume BB will find more value for the 25 mill plus guaranteed that McCourty will command on the Market…

    Its a bad look for the Pats cause Devin is the consummate patriot… A guy who did it right here for every game….And we love him!

    and well miss him

  24. Well Devin, it’s your choice. You can spend the next 4 years playing with one of the best rebuilt secondaries in the league and chase some more rings, or, take the money and run to some mediocre franchise. I’m sure your twin brother has already advised you of how that route works.

  25. My Jaguars are going to offer him the biggest contract for a safety ever. Team has to spend at least $40 million in cash this offseason just to get up to the 89% floor. Only free agent of our own would be Alualu, and even he will be a bargain.

    Got to spend it somewhere.

    We want McCourty. Thanks Pats!

  26. One of the toughest parts about taking a discount from your current team is that the teams don’t usually give up the right to trade you. How can a player justify taking less without the security of keeping the reason he took the discount?

    When one looks at former Patriots, almost all regret leaving. Vinatieri is the exception but I suspect even he misses being a Patriot. Of course, most change is a fait accompli because not everyone can stay.

  27. I think Bill is hoping for a Hometown discount with McCourty. He was weak when he played corner so Belichick used his football smarts and made him a decent Safety, which paid off but I don’t think he’s going to get a big enough offer to want to leave the nest. I’m not really sure who’s available or the depth at Safety for the Patriots?

    There was no way they were going to let Money Gostkowski hit the open market… now that would have been tragic!

  28. Devin is a great player but it was a bad secondary despite him prior to Revis.
    If the only way to pay Revis is to lose McCourty I’ll be disappointed, but losing Revis is what I’m more afraid of.
    Losing both would be very, very bad though.

  29. Hey Devin come to the Chicago Bears and play for a team that doesn’t need to cheat- they will be a lot better with the new coaching staff.

  30. This is so sad..i mean,the pats will let both revis and mccourty hit the free agency..c’mon pats,your coming out of a super bowl season and you let your best safety,a leader walking out?!? speechles…good luck d-mac,thsnks for everything..wish i could see you again in pats uniform one day…

  31. Come home to New York and play for the team your old team cannot beat – The Giants.

  32. It’s kind of funny to see how much name recognition McCourty has outside NE. I am a DM fan but I think at this point he is over-rated. Not worth anywhere near the $9M/year the tag would have paid him.

    Would like to see him take a team friendly deal to come back to NE but if he leaves then we will be fine. Move one of the CBs to safety (say Browner), and you still have Revis, Butler, Dennard, Arrignton and ryan (who sucks) at CB. Still a SB winning backfield right there. Don’t need DM. Definitely need Revis.

  33. He will remain a Patriot. The teams out there that will overpay for him are the bottom feeders that will give him a little bigger paycheck for the the privilege of a lot more losses.

  34. beachsidejames says:
    Mar 3, 2015 9:26 AM
    80 degrees here today….

    ok that’s the best anti-Pats comment I’ve read! and there are a lot of them!

  35. “Come home to New York and play for the team your old team cannot beat – The Giants.”

    Actually, Brady has a .500 or better record against every other team in the league.

  36. “I am not quite sure I understand what the Patriots are doing”

    If everyone understood what Bill does and why other franchises would copy it. Thankfully, they don’t.

    Chippy, good to see you back celebrating another Patriots Super Bowl victory and watching closely what they do to reload and repeat.

  37. This guy has played well and is 100% Patriot through and through. I’m sure all he wants is a fair deal. So now they’re going to cater to Revis like all the other teams. He is an excellent corner but will never be 100% Patriot. He has bad mouthed the Patriots and coach Belichick in the past. He’ll hold any club for ransom and that’s to be expected because that’s who he is. You could offer to make him the highest paid corner and still keep Devin but Revis will want much more than just being the highest paid corner just watch.

  38. This kid is talking to much in the media (contract wise). Reason you weren’t aware of being Tagged is because Patriots never felt it was an option.

    McCourty, Maybe your not as good as your advertising yourself. Your an above average “system player”. You where leader of the secondary by default cause of your tenure, not skill set. Keep listening to media and your brother and see how well you’ll get accustomed to season being over by week 12. lol

  39. McCourty has great range and speed to play single high safety with decent instincts. He is also a great locker room guy. But make no mistake, the Patriots are Super Bowl Champions once again because of Revis Island. He changed everything. As good as McCourty has become, he was out there on some lousy pass defenses prior to Revis’ arrival. I hope both come back, but Revis is absolutely where the money should go. He is a must-have whereas McCourty is a very-nice-to-have.

  40. uknepatsfan says:
    Mar 3, 2015 6:31 AM
    Pats couldn’t tag him because it would have set the floor in their negotiations with McCourty at $9.6m per year, which is clearly not a figure they’re comfortable with.

    Pats will let the market set the price and then make their offer. Ultimately it will boil down to going to a perennial loser for a big score or staying with a perennial Super Bowl contender for less money.

    Why is it only bad teams that can sign him pray tell. Tons of good teams that need safeties have plenty of cap space to sign him. Good example of one that comes to mind the Steelers. They are a team that loves hard hitting safeties that can cover and have a huge need. They can spend what they want on him, Giants same deal, Eagles, etc u name it. There are plenty of teams who can and want his services. They all don’t stink. There are teams that win a lot in the NFL that aren’t in NE.

  41. thenewenglandpatriots12 says:
    Mar 3, 2015 8:43 AM
    I would rather have McCourty than Revis tbh

    Hes a better Patriot, but not a better football player. This is your heart talking

  42. “He’d look good with my beloved Colts.”

    No one looks good in a Colts uniform because Irsay, Grigson, and Pagano are in the background.

  43. “I can’t stand it, huddle up and…huddle up and run it again Brady”!!!!!!!!!!!
    -Belichick (A Football Life)

  44. its a double edged sword

    players should be able to get as much money as they can but teams that go after high priced players have a strong correlation with missing the playoffs most years (see washington under Synder & Dallas post JJ).

  45. I really don’t get the sentimental attachment that many Pat fans seem to have with this guy. He had a very good rookie season as a CB but has been a middle of the road safety since then.

    He’ll get a nice offer from another team and should take it. This will likely be his only chance at cashing in as a FA.

  46. Surprised to hear a Pats fan say that Logan Ryan sucks.
    I think that he is going to be awesome. He’s a young, ball-hawk.
    I think that Revis is probably the best CB in the league. I think he dragged the Pats’ secondary to the Superbowl. It is great having him. That being said…I think with Browner, Ryan, Arrington, Harmon, maybe Butler, we’ll see, maybe we could take the $20 million training wheels off now? Sign Mccourty back. Having Browner is huge. With the front-end of the defense gelling together now, and some luck with healthy players, I would imagine we will have a better pass rush. Maybe we can do without Revis.
    I dunno.
    Bill knows what to do.

  47. Sorry devin . this offseason top priority is revis.
    Of course we hope to keep both. But if we have to choose its revis. Well find out next week. Revis island must stay.

  48. I’m sure the Pats won’t be the team making the biggest offer and there’s no reason any player should leave guaranteed money on the table. As a Pats fan, I hate to see him go, but that’s the business.

  49. Gronk was healthy for the entire playoffs FINALLY… He was the game changer… Not sure Revis is worth $20 million….

  50. azarkhan says:Mar 3, 2015 10:56 AM

    Revis is a mercenary. Let Revis walk, sign McCourty and the other free agents.


    Without Revis there is no repeat possibility. Revis and lessor talent at safety is better than McCourty and lessor talent at corner.

  51. “Not sure Revis is worth $20 million….”

    First of all, the market is the market. We will soon learn what that is. Woody is about to do a 180 turn on Revis because he just realized that he gifted the Patriots a Super Bowl victory over his unwillingness to pay $2MM more a year to the Jet’s best player ever. Woody isn’t going to pay Revis to win a Super Bowl; he’s going to do it to try to stop the Patriots from going back to back and having Revis go into Canton as a Patriot.

    Second, it’s Super Bowl or bust for the Patriots in 2015. As Alec Baldwin said in Glengary GlenRoss, “second prize, steak knives”.

    Third, the Patriots won four Super Bowls with shut down corners and zero Super Bowls with no shut down corners.

    They need and want Revis.

  52. vegasbearfan says:Mar 3, 2015 9:22 AM

    Yes some of their player are really good- too bad their coach is dirtbag


    6 x Super Bowl champion, 9 appearances as head coach or assistant coach.

    He’s just a great coach.

  53. If I am Belichick I don’t l’t expose Revis to free agency. I try to do a long term deal but I live with year two of his contract if his agents force me to do so and I leave Woody Johnson holding his checkbook and screaming: “Noooooooooo”.

    If I am Revis, I tell my guys to get a long term done so I have the security I want and close out my career with Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots.

  54. Im not a fan of any NFC South team by any means, but it is clear as day he is going to be the next Atlanta Falcon.

    Its not splashy like Revis to NE, its exactly the type of moves that happens 95% of the time in FA. He will still be a good player he will just…be in Atlanta and most people will forget we ever had this conversation.

    Book it.

  55. “magnumpimustache says:
    Mar 3, 2015 7:41 AM
    Brady needs to help these guys out with endorsement deals. If you can make 2 million less playing football but you make it back with endorsements. ”

    So you want the Pats to attempt to cheat the cap and lose draft picks?

    Its obvious what they are doing, and by now Bill B. should have earned enough benefit of the doubt that no one questions him.

  56. BB always has a plan. It starts with signing Revis long-term. Then they drop Browner back to free safety where he could be a monster in that role. Most corners have the range and cover skills to move to safety. Plenty of candidates to move to RC including Butler, Ryan and Dennard with Arrington in the slot. Harmon made the big pick against the Ravens so he clearly represents another option. McCourty is overrated and not a $9.0M player.

  57. Everyone calling Revis a mercenary should realize that the Jets TRADED him to Tampa and Tampa CUT him to save cap space. Signing with New England was the only true decision he made himself his entire career and look how that turned out. Expect him to be a Patriot the rest of his career now.

  58. He reminds me of glover quinn. Getting switched from corner to safety early in his career and now playing lights out at that position.

  59. Anyone saying good bye to McC today must have stopped watching the Superbowl when the Pats went down by 10.

    There is still time on the clock, way to early to call it.

  60. “Everyone calling Revis a mercenary should realize that the Jets TRADED him to Tampa and Tampa CUT him to save cap space.”

    A rare sighting on PFT, a fact-based post. Nicely done.

  61. If he bolts (decides not to take less than market value) than Logan Ryan is his replacement? I would hope so, as we’ve all seen Logan does not know how to play corner back.

  62. Just like every other free agent who has ever left the Patriots, McCoutry will spill the beans about the rampant cheating that has gone on in NE.

    Oh wait, that’s actually never happened.

  63. Good football player, great character/locker room guy, but not a future HOFer. We are not looking at an Ed Reed or Ronnie Lott level safety in his prime. Will be interesting to see how far someone extends for McCourty.

  64. ‘Bitter Sweet’ – On one hand, he gets the benefits of League & refs preferential treatment…on the other, he must sacrifice credibility by playing for Cheaters.

  65. I think you should move brandon browner to SS. Put Butler as the 2nd Corner(after watching some videos of him he showed promise of being a great corner). Tbh I’d rather have revis over mccourty

  66. The reason the Patriots won the Super bowl was Revis. His arrival completely allowed Belichick to play a different defense. They are going to overpay Revis for Brady’s final run over the next few years, let McCourty go (sadly, although he is overrated. He’s no Earl Thomas) and do what they always do — coach up a suitable replacement. You have to pick your poison here.

    This was the first time in years they could stop decent offenses from tearing it up. Brady used to have to stand on his head and the Pats would win games like 38-31, then come the playoffs they’d run into a team like the Ravens or Jets who’d only allow a handful of points–season over. Brady was jumping up and down at the end of the SB because the defense finally helped him win one. He should have had won 6 based on doing his job in two losses when he needed to.

  67. These guys are so greedy. It makes me sick. I bet Logan Mankins would trade his contract in Tampa Bay for that Super Bowl 49 ring if he were 100% honest.

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