New England Patriots’ Franchise Tag: Devin McCourty Will Be Tagged Today


Today is the deadline for NFL teams to place the franchise tag on certain players, and for the New England Patriots, it is kind of significant with their upcoming dilemma with their own free agents. Cornerback Darrelle Revis won’t get the tag, but kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and safety Devin McCourty just might, and in a few hours we could know their future with the team.

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At this point, I would be extremely surprised if either Gostkowski or McCourty leave. Based on everything we have heard up until now, and their previous relationship with the Patriots, I think there is a much higher chance Revis leaves than either of the other two. Gostkowski and McCourty have been here for a long time, they are arguably the best at their respective positions, and they exemplify the ‘Patriot Way’ better than most on this roster. Bill Belichick loves them, and I doubt he will let them go.

With that said, the NFL is a business, and sometimes money will beat out loyalty in situations like this. McCourty and Gostkowski have each earned the right to cash in over the next few years, and if another contending team swoops in with a huge offer, there is a chance they will bolt. Of course New England can prevent that by giving one of them the franchise tag, which essentially binds them here for another season at a fixed price.

My prediction for what will unfold throughout the rest of the day? Devin McCourty will get tagged by the deadline. It is obvious that both sides want to remain together, but I’m not sure contract negotiations are where they want to be at right now. If they could nail out a four, five year deal, that would be awesome. But I feel like the tag is in order for D-Mac, which will not only keep him in New England for another season, but it will give the Patriots time to work out a fair contract with him. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they tagged him, then announced later in the offseason that they had come to an agreement. That is an effective technique often utilized by NFL teams.

As for Gostkowski, I firmly believe a deal will get done, and he will earn his fair share of money. Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston proposed a four year, $16 million contract for the 31-year-old, and while that seems a bit pricey, it’s 100% worth it. Gostkowski is the best kicker in the game, and when it comes to finding a player that can be relied on to make a kick late in January or February, you don’t want to skimp.

I’m going to hold off on my prediction for what goes down with Mr. Revis, but it’s definitely more complicated than McCourty and Gostkowski’s respective situations. Revis is known to go after the money, and at this point in his career, he may not have many more shots at cashing in at top dollar. However he did take a pay-cut to come to New England to get a ring, and now that he has a taste of success, he may be willing to take another discounted contract to win more championships.