How Retiring Devin McCourty Helped Patriots Create Cap Space

McCourty's move freed up more than $5M in salary cap room

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March 15

Devin McCourty’s final act as a New England Patriots player granted his team a bit of financial flexibility.

Before officially retiring, the longtime Patriots safety signed what amounts to a ceremonial one-year, $1.165 million contract, according to a report Wednesday from ESPN’s Field Yates.

The point of that? To free up $5.035 million in salary cap space for the upcoming season.

Had the Patriots not made that transaction, $9.7 million in dead money from McCourty’s previous deal would have sat on New England’s books in 2023. Instead, $6.2 million of that will be pushed to 2024, “presuming the retirement is officially processed after June 1,” per Yates’ report.

Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan predicted the team would make such a move back in January, when McCourty openly acknowledged he was considering retirement after New England’s Week 18 season-ending road loss to the Buffalo Bills.

It’s unclear how the Patriots plan to use that extra cap space. As of Wednesday morning, they agreed to terms with just one external free agent: former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Calvin Anderson. They locked up more than a half-dozen of their own free agents, including re-signing cornerback Jonathan Jones and tendering defensive back Myles Bryant.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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