Patriots free-agent safety Devin McCourty has no plans to retire this offseason.
“He wants to play,” McCourty’s agent, Andy Simms, told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Retirement is not an option.”
McCourty is set to hit free agency March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, but New England has exclusive negotiating rights with McCourty until March 16.
McCourty, 32, last was a free agent in 2015, when he signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract to stay with the Patriots. He had one of his best seasons in 2019, when he intercepted five passes, broke up seven and forced two fumbles while serving as a captain on the NFL’s top defense.
The Patriots have over $28 million in cap space, but a large chunk of that could go to quarterback Tom Brady, who’s also a free agent.
McCourty’s twin brother, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty, has a team option in his contract for 2020. He has a cap hit of $5.75 million, which is still a bargain for a starting-caliber cornerback. The Patriots could save $4 million in cap space by releasing Jason McCourty, who dealt with a lingering groin injury late in the 2019 season.