Devin McCourty shares the harsh truth behind his decision to retire from the Patriots

New England Patriots v New York Jets
New England Patriots v New York Jets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Usually, when a player decides to retire from the NFL, especially from a team they spent their entire career with, their retirement announcement sounds like any other.

But how often do you get to hear the real reason behind why they decided to call it a career?

Well, Patriots fans got just that from Devin McCourty in his latest interview with Pro Football Network from last week.

The interview was a joint project between Devin and his twin brother Jason, who also was a member of the Patriots for three seasons, to talk about their NFL careers and where they are headed now that their time on the field has ended.

Among other things, Devin was asked about all that went into deciding to retire finally, as it was something speculated about for the last few years, and the former cornerback laid it out simply; he didn't feel the same passion for the game anymore.

He discussed how a recent shoulder injury put many things into perspective for him and provided him the time to step back and look at what he wanted to do with this career and post-football life.

During that time, McCourty said he got the reassurance that his feeling was right and it was time to retire, even citing Matthew Slater as an unintentional contributor in making the final decision.

"A good friend of mine, Matt Slater, is in there working out as I’m rehabbing so I’m like, ‘alright.’ And I forgot what day it was, I was like, ‘These next two days, I’m gonna go in here and workout.’ And I’m in there working out and like, I’m now thinking, ‘I’m doing kind of an old man workout.’ And I’m watching him, and I’m seeing a difference between the way he’s working out and the way I’m working now.

I kind of knew from right there it was probably it. I then went on vacation and just being with my family, I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore. And I knew some of the things I wanted to pursue, going on TV, doing those things, felt more important than going and playing football at the time."

Of course, his explanation makes all the sense in the world. McCourty played for the Patriots for 13 seasons, winning three Super Bowls, being named to three Second-Team All-Pros and two Pro Bowls.

He experienced it all, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. What more was there to do?

And that's when he got more honest than most players in his position would be, expressing one of the leading, and even harsh, reasons why he felt the time was right to call it a career.

"I think, especially as you get older, you start to only play to win a Super Bowl. And I was like, ‘If I go back, I don’t think we’ll go win a Super Bowl. So as I started to sit there and be like, ‘Alright, what did I really set myself up for? We were 8-9 last year. Am I gonna go to another team? Is it worth it for six months?'"

Although he's not entirely wrong, considering the Patriots are near the bottom of the league in terms of being the next Super Bowl Champions, it does sting a bit hearing those words come from a fan favorite who accomplished so much during his time in New England.

However, even though it isn't the most fun thing to hear, it's hard to blame the guy.

He was integral to the Patriots' success since he was drafted in 2010. He played in five Super Bowls, feeling the glory of winning three and the unmeasurable pain of losing two. He was teammates with some of the best in franchise and league history while being coached by the greatest to do it.

He was also getting to an age where why not go out on your own accord rather than due to injury or because you're not performing to your usual abilities?

It's hard to argue against that.