Any time a veteran free agent is released in the NFL, the ears of New England Patriots fans perk up. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a history of taking a chance on discarded players.
The Patriots don’t bite in the majority of circumstances, but when the Tennessee Titans released cornerback Jason McCourty on Thursday, the fit seemed almost too perfect. bJason’s twin brother Devin, a Patriots safety, has long expressed his desire to play with his brother again. They last teamed up in 2008 at Rutgers before Jason left for the 2009 NFL Draft.
Jason also has a “long-standing interest” in reuniting with Devin, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday. But is the timing right?
Devin spoke expansively on the matter Friday at Boston University’s Play It Forward summit.
“I thought he took the high road in a situation that kind of wasn’t great for him — a situation that could have been handled a lot earlier,” McCourty told reporters. “I think for him now, he’s in a different type of position. I’m excited for him. I was hoping he would be out of Tennessee a couple years ago just to experience something different. I think obviously now everyone is saying ‘he’s going to come here, he should come here.’ But you never know. I hope we’re interested in him.
“Like I’ve said before, we’ve loved to play together, but I think first and foremost, he has to do what’s kind of right for his family and where he could actually play and be out there playing. He’s not at the point in his career where he just wants to sit on the bench. He wants to get a chance to get out there and compete. I’m excited for him. It’s a little bit of the unknown, but he’s my brother, he should do all right. He should just tell people he’s related to me.”
The Patriots currently have Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones, Jonathan Jones and Justin Coleman at cornerback. Butler, Gilmore and Rowe are among the top cornerback trios in the NFL, but the Patriots’ depth at the position could lessen if the team elects to trade Malcolm Butler.
So, is the Patriots safety in Belichick’s ear about signing his brother yet?
“Bill doesn’t listen to me,” McCourty said. “If he did listen to me, I would definitely shoot him a text message and tell him, ‘I don’t know if he heard the news, but Jason McCourty is a free agent.’ He’ll listen to me sometimes about my opinion on the deep middle, but scouting players, he stays away from me. But I usually have a good thing with the Rutgers guys, so you never know.”
It seems Jason would be an ideal fit for the Patriots if they decide to trade Butler. If not, he likely could receive more playing time elsewhere.
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