New England Patriots: internal free agent preview

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 03: Jason McCourty #30 of the New England Patriots defends a pass against Josh Reynolds #83 of the Los Angeles Rams in the first half during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Jason McCourty

Position: Cornerback

Overview: McCourty was one of two New England Patriots who went from 0-16 to Super Bowl champions in a single season’s turnaround. While McCourty was solid, he is still no easy decision to return. And while he may be looking for a multi-year deal with a high guarantee, such deals are rare for cornerbacks over the age of 30 in today’s NFL.

McCourty had an up-and-down first season in New England, struggling at times (especially early on in the fall) until coming on at the end of the season. With a big play in the Super Bowl to break-up a pass to a wide open Brandin Cooks in the end zone, McCourty may have done just enough in a major primetime moment to catch the eye of some NFL executive somewhere.

He is certainly still a productive cornerback for the Patriots, and has the added bonus of playing next to his twin brother in New England. There are also a few other veteran cornerbacks available on the market this year.

As a solid presence who is a good insurance policy, McCourty should be brought back if he’s okay with the price Belichick gives him.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday, McCourty has reportedly agreed to a new two-year deal to remain with the Patriots.

Expected Cost: One year at $3 to $5 million per season, highly incentivized, and a low guarantee.

Keep or Cut Loose: KEEP