New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and I’m sure the Patriots would like nothing more than to lock up one of their most valuable players on either side of the ball. Although the Pats went out and signed Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason, McCourty is still an invaluable part of that secondary, as he’s been one of the best safeties in the league in each of the past two seasons. While he was a solid corner, D-Mac’s ball skills, instincts, and tackling ability have allowed him to blossom into a top safety who rarely misses tackles, can make plays on his own, and is exceptional at covering for aggressive press corners like Aqib Talib (Browner is next) in deep coverage.
In early June, the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported that the Patriots and McCourty engaged in contract negotiations, but now a source informs the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe that the Patriots haven’t “reached out” to McCourty since speaking with him earlier this offseason. As Howe notes, this isn’t a surprising development, as the Patriots usually aren’t aggressive in contract negotiations, but it is notable given McCourty’s talent. There’s still a good chance both sides will get a deal done before the regular season, and I would be very surprised if he isn’t a priority to lock up long-term.
Just 26 and only getting better, McCourty is set to make $3.92 million next season, which isn’t bad overall. But he’s such a good player that he would make around double that on the open market, especially given his ability to play cornerback or safety at a high level. He recorded 69 tackles and eight passes defended last year, but his raw stats were so quiet because quarterbacks simply stopped testing him in deep coverage.