SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Unlike his twin brother, Jason McCourty says he never considered retiring after the Patriots won the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Sunday, Jason McCourty made it clear he intends to play in 2019 and hopes it’s with the Patriots.
“(Devin) got me intertwined,” moaned Jason who will be a free agent when the new league year begins March 13. “I’m over here answering retirement questions and I never said anything about retirement.
“First and foremost, if I could be back in New England and all of that works out, that would be awesome,” Jason continued. “That way it wouldn’t be the third consecutive year I had to move my family. That would be an advantage. But at the same time you realize how much of this is a business and how much of this isn’t dictated by (the feeling), ‘Hey, I just want to play here with my brother and the guys I built a relationship with.’ There’s so much more that goes into it.
“For me, (the approach will be) letting it play out. When March rolls around we’ll see where everything’s at and then at the end of the day we’ll see where the opportunities are and then make a decision.”
This past season was the final year of the two-year, $6M deal McCourty signed with Cleveland in mid-April of 2017. The Patriots traded for McCourty last March and he was a valuable contributor at cornerback, playing 933 snaps and having his best season since 2012 according to Pro Football Focus which had him graded as the 11th best corner in the NFL.
The Patriots will no doubt see the value in keeping McCourty. But they also have young talent coming up like J.C. Jackson and Keion Crossen. It’s not unlikely to think the Patriots will allow McCourty to get to free agency and let him gauge his market across the league before making a move to re-sign him.
McCourty, who signed a five-year, $43M deal with the Titans in 2012, has never been a free agent at the start of a league year.
“I spent the first eight years of my career in Tennessee and never saw free agency,” he explained. “And then, 10 days before the draft, I was released by Tennessee and thrown into free agency. I felt like I kind of got shafted a little bit in my free agency experience that year because by waiting so long to release me, 10 corners had already been picked up and it was really just the bottom of the barrel left. I’d like to make a decision before April for sure so I don’t get stuck in that same situation.”
Given the way he played in 2018, there will be interest.
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