New England Patriots Rumors: Will Devin McCourty be back in 2022?

Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are set for a potentially pivotal offseason. They have some very clear needs heading into the offseason, but after their spending spree last year, they don’t have a ton of money to spend on free agency this time around, let alone their own players who are set to hit the open market.

The Patriots currently have 20 players that are set to hit free agency. Not all 20 of those players are going to be suiting up for New England next season unfortunately. Of the Pats players set to test the waters of free agency, it’s clear that there are some players that need to be re-signed more than others.

One of the bigger question marks in terms of the Patriots potential free agents is Devin McCourty. McCourty just finished up his 12th season with the Patriots, and he is still playing at a pretty high level as the backbone of New England’s defense.

However, McCourty is already 34 years old and will be 35 by the time the 2022 season starts. His deal in 2021 also came with a cap hit of just over $11 million, which is a figure the Patriots cannot afford to pay him again next season. With retirement rumors swirling around McCourty as he hits free agency, it’s fair to wonder whether the veteran safety has played his final game as a Patriot.

Should the New England Patriots bring back Devin McCourty?

The first piece of the puzzle when it comes to deciding whether or not the Patriots should re-sign McCourty revolves around whether or not he even wants to play next season. McCourty has been open that he’s been taking a season-by-season approach as he winds down his career, and with his deal expiring, it might be the right time for McCourty to hang up his cleats.

The good news is that McCourty reportedly is planning to play in the 2022 season. It’s not as if McCourty’s play has fallen off a cliff or anything, as he’s still playing at a high level late in his career. The additions of Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips have allowed McCourty to play in a deeper free safety role, which is a perfect fit for his current playstyle.

McCourty opting not to retire for the upcoming season is the first step. The next is actually getting him to re-sign with the team. And as stated earlier, McCourty is going to have to take a pay cut if he wants to stick around in New England. The Patriots are constantly making roster moves, but as of the time of this writing, the team has about $7 million in cap space.

McCourty’s most recent deal with the new England Patriots was a fairly team friendly 2 year, $23 million deal that was backloaded with voidable years to help out New England’s cap situation. McCourty will have to take an even cheaper deal to stick around this time.

More good news for New England is that there’s a decent chance that McCourty would take a pay cut to finish off his career with the Pats. McCourty has played all 12 of his seasons with New England, and it seems unlikely that he would be looking to relocate his family this late into his career. McCourty probably only has two or three seasons left playing, so he may as well finish it off with the team he started with.

As for what a potential deal for McCourty would look like, I’d expect something in the 2 year, $14 million range with some incentives and what-not tacked on. That would give McCourty an annual value of $7 million, which is a much cleaner fit for the Patriots current salary cap situation.

Next. Patriots should be paying close attention to the Bengals. dark

McCourty is still playing at a high level, and his experience at the back of the New England Patriots defense would be a huge help as the unit seemingly looks to get younger. If he can be brought back on a team friendly deal, there’s no reason to protest his return. Here’s hoping that McCourty will finish off his illustrious career in New England.