The New England Patriots have successfully re-signed many of their prominent internal free agents this offseason. But one notable name remains available two weeks into free agency.
Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty has yet to sign with a team since officially hitting the market March 17. He addressed his current status Wednesday during an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”
?Yeah, this year in free agency has been different, obviously with the cap and everything as a result of 2020,” McCourty said. “I just want to be somewhere I?m wanted and (have) an opportunity to compete and help the guys around me. As an older player now, I really look forward and love being able to mentor the younger guys and be able to kind of help them grow, as well as going out there competing and trying to win games.
“So wherever that may be, I?m going to be excited. This will be Year 13, so each year, you?re closer to the end. This could be it. I?m just so excited to get somewhere and play football.”
McCourty initially joined the Patriots ahead of the 2018 season, won a Super Bowl, then re-signed on a two-year, $10 million contract in 2019. Over that time, the 33-year-old established himself as a locker room leader (he was a team captain in 2020) and a versatile cog in New England’s secondary. He appeared in all 16 games last season with 11 starts, splitting time between cornerback and safety.
Corner is one of the Patriots’ few remaining areas of uncertainty after their rush of free agent signings. New England must decide whether to extend or trade 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who is unlikely to play for his current 2021 salary of $7 million, and emerging star J.C. Jackson could be poached by another team after being tendered at the second-round level.
Jackson is a restricted free agent. McCourty is unrestricted. Gilmore reportedly “would be very open” to signing an extension.
Center David Andrews, running back James White and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy all re-signed with the Patriots this month after testing free agency. New England also re-upped quarterback Cam Newton, defensive end Deatrich Wise, D-tackle Carl Davis and special teamers Justin Bethel and Cody Davis while losing guard Joe Thuney (to Kansas City) and D-tackle Adam Butler (to Miami).
Patriots safety Devin McCourty is entering the final year of his contract. The McCourty twins will turn 34 in August.