Yesterday the New England Patriots used their franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, locking him up for at least the 2015 season. The bigger news coming from this was arguably safety Devin McCourty not being tagged, as his future with the team is now up in the air.
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McCourty may very well work out a deal with the Patriots shortly, but as of right now, he would hit the open market on March 10th. The elite safety gave a statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson late last night.
Here is the full quote:
"Devin McCourty to me on the #Patriots not using their franchise tag on him: “I really didn’t know. There was no real information from them on if it was going to be me or (Stephen Gostkowski). So I was kind of going off of what everybody else was going off, with what people were reporting as far as sources and all that. So, I guess it’s more realistic now that (there’s) a chance that I might not be back there. Or there’s still a chance that I will, but I guess (there’s) more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process.”"
This was really interesting, because on the one hand, McCourty acknowledges that it is more realistic he won’t be in New England next year, but at the same he says there is still a chance he won’t be leaving. I think McCourty has made it obvious throughout the offseason that he wants to stay a Patriot, but it doesn’t sound like the Pats have made him an offer.
I personally feel like locking McCourty up long-term is almost as important as re-signing Darrelle Revis (if not more), because he is young, he is a good leader, and is also one of the best defenders in the game. His ability to control the secondary and keep everything in front of him is up there with the best of them, and New England’s defense will suffer if he leaves.