Patriots

Patriots

Veteran cornerback Jason McCourty is returning to the New England Patriots for the 2020 season, strengthening a defense that finished 2019 as one of the NFL's best.

ESPN's Field Yates reported Thursday morning that the Patriots officially have picked up McCourty's option for next season, and that his contract will have a $5.5 million salary cap hit. The Boston Globe's Ben Volin tweeted a breakdown of the financial details in McCourty's contract, including bonuses and when certain money becomes guaranteed.

McCourty has played quite well for the Patriots since they acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 season. The trade united Jason with his brother, Patriots safety Devin McCourty, and they became the first set of twins to play in and win a Super Bowl when the Pats defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.

McCourty played in 12 games last season and tallied 40 total tackles, one interception and six passes defensed. A groin injury cut his 2019 campaign short and he didn't play after New England's Week 11 road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots clearly missed his presence in the secondary over the final quarter of the regular season and their AFC Wild Card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.

 

The return of McCourty keeps intact arguably the best group of cornerbacks in the league, one that also includes J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year winner Stephon Gilmore.

Perry: If Brady leaves, would Stidham be ready in 2020?