Last night the New England Patriots re-signed safety Devin McCourty to a five year, $47.5 million contract, and ‘Pats Nation’ collectively let out a huge sigh of relief. Coming into this offseason, the Patriots had two key objectives they had to get done: bring back D-Mac, and re-sign Darrelle Revis. If they could do those two things, the offseason would be a complete success. Now that McCourty is back, the Pats can focus all of their efforts on retaining Revis, which would re-unite the best secondary in football.
Let’s get to a brief analysis on the McCourty signing.
What It Means
One of the main reasons the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year was because of an improved defense, and along with Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty was the driving force of that unit. His ability to keep everything in front of him with his immaculate range is unrivaled in the NFL, and it will allow the Pats to continue to play their aggressive man coverage next season.
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$47.5 million over five years and $28 million guaranteed is a lot of cash, and it shows how valuable New England thinks McCourty is to the team. Now, I am sure the Pats will spread this contract out, with bonuses abound, but the bottom line is New England paid up for D-Mac. They knew they’d lose him if they lowballed him, as there were plenty of other teams ready to pounce.
Obviously McCourty is tops on the depth chart, but where this also helps is with Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon. Because McCourty’s range is so good, it allows Chung to play down in the box where he is at his best, and not in a cover 2 type zone. If McCourty had left, Harmon would have likely taken over, which would have forced Chung into an awkward spot.
It’s all about Revis, now. That should be the Patriots number one priority, and if they can lock him up, I will be happy with New England’s offseason, regardless of what they do after that. It has been reported that Revis is down to the Jets and Pats, two AFC East rivals. If Revis just wants the money at this point, he will probably end up back in New York. However if he is willing to take a small pay-cut, the winning culture in Foxboro will likely lure him back for more.