The New England Patriots might have an entirely new defense in 2022, as big names like JC Jackson and Devin McCourty could be on the way out. The latter departure might sting more, as McCourty has been integral when it comes to establishing the culture that has helped this team reel off three Super Bowls in his tenure.
McCourty has been a rock at the back end of this defense for 12 seasons, intercepting 31 passes and only missing five games in that timespan. An elite ballhawk that can come up and lay some lumber on a ball-carrier, McCourty is an ideal safety for Bill Belichick’s defense.
Defensive backs going into their 13th season very rarely have a huge market, but McCourty’s football knowledge and versatility will get both contenders looking for a wily veteran and rebuilding teams trying to establish a culture interested in signing him.
Don’t be surprised if McCourty leaves New England and starts fresh in the offseason. If he bolts town in search of greener pastures elsewhere in the league, these four destinations could be potential landing spots.
4 destinations for New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty.
4. Houston Texans
Miami could’ve made sense as a destination, but with his brother Jason a free agent, the Dolphins no longer look that desirable. Houston might be extremely far away from contention, but the team is littered with former New England players at every single level of this operation. That might attract him there.
In addition to names like Marcus Cannon and Rex Burkhead dotting the roster, former Pats executive Nick Caserio (who was director of player personnel when McCourty was drafted) is the GM. Even though Bill O’Brien was fired, the Texans might look for yet another New England man to lead the charge.
Will Devin McCourty link up with former Patriots in Houston?
Houston seems determined to add a coach that comes from the Belichick tree, with names like the recently fired Brian Flores or Pats linebackers coach Jerod Mayo being listed as potential candidates. That familiarity, especially with two coaches who specialize in defense, could draw him to Houston.
McCourty would not be joining a team that could compete for a championship. Rather, he’ll hitch up with a team trying to learn how to win and build around Davis Mills. Having a battle-scarred veteran like McCourty in the room could be an invaluable asset to a team as young as Houston.