Will Devin McCourty Retire? Patriots Safety Opens Up About Offseason

'I'm definitely going to take my time'

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Devin McCourty feels physically prepared to return for a 13th NFL season. But will he? The veteran safety has yet to make that decision.

McCourty said Thursday on his “Double Coverage with the McCourty Twins” podcast that he’ll take some time to decompress from the season before determining whether he’ll play in 2022. The longtime New England Patriots co-captain will be 35 when next season begins and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

“(I plan on) just hanging out,” McCourty said. “Hanging out with the fam, getting an opportunity to not think about football for at least a month or two. I think even at this age, I’m going to continue to do the offseason stuff that I usually do, just to give myself that option of what you want to do next.

“But I still feel great. Going over all of the tests and all the things that we do during the season with our sports performance guy Johan, I haven’t had a dropoff in athletic ability and the physical traits to play the game. So it all really comes down to mentally and being ready and being able to tap back in and go through a full season. I think those are the things you have to think about.

“But I’m definitely going to take my time and see what happens for the future. I try not to say, ‘I’ll never do this’ or ‘I’m only going to do that’ and just kind of let it play itself out and see how it goes.”

For what it’s worth, McCourty’s twin brother, Jason, who may have some inside info on the situation, predicted Devin will continue his playing career.

“This guy is playing at such a high level in his career,” Jason said. “No way he hangs ’em up. Just my opinion.”

Devin McCourty also reflected on Saturday night’s 47-17 playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills. He used words like “frustrating” and “disappointing” to describe New England’s defensive showing, which ranked among the worst in NFL history.

The Bills scored touchdowns on all seven of their non-kneeldown possessions, becoming the first team ever to finish a game without a punt, field-goal attempt or turnover. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen posted a near-perfect stat line, going 21 of 25 for 308 yards and five touchdowns (passer rating: 157.6) plus 66 rushing yards on six carries.

“It was just a game, as a defender, that was very frustrating because you just felt like you did no right in the game no matter what,” McCourty said. “The play calls, they kept changing. We kept trying something different. I mean, (defensive play-caller) Steve (Belichick) called everything we had Saturday night, and just nothing went right for us. And I would say the disappointing part about that is when that happens, I think everybody’s played in a game where you felt like, man, we just can’t get anything going. But for that to show up in a playoff game … (it’s) obviously not a great feeling.”

McCourty did say he was encouraged by the way New England rallied from a 2-4 start to the season to win 10 games and make the postseason, and by the performances the Patriots got from several of their younger players, namely quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

“To turn that around and have a chance in the playoffs I think speaks to the future in New England with some of the young, talented players they have,” McCourty said. “I think the future’s going to be bright. … I think the future’s really bright on what they’ll be able to develop and accomplish in the years coming.”

Whether McCourty referring to the Patriots as “they” means anything for his impending free agency remains to be seen.

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