Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) celebrates after the game against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
1b. Bring Back Devin McCourty
In terms of who the Patriots personally value, I think they view McCourty higher than Revis, and it’s honestly hard to blame them. McCourty has been here longer, he is one of the team’s leaders, he does everything the right way, and he has emerged as one of the best safeties in the league.
It appears likely the Pats will slap the franchise tag on McCourty, which will give them time to work out a long-term deal. Based on everything we have seen to this point, I would be absolutely stunned if McCourty wasn’t in Foxboro in 2015. He loves being a Patriot, and the team loves him back. Having a corner combo of Revis and Browner is great, but you need an elite safety to back them up, and McCourty has been terrific in that role over the last two years. This defense will slip if D-Mac is let go.
If tagged, McCourty would make a tidy $8.4 million in 2015, and of course the Patriots will work hard to craft a longer deal between the two sides, because a top notch safety is hard to come by in this league.