S Devin McCourty expected to remain with the Patriots, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 9, 2015
In one of the largest moves of the off-season, the New England Patriots are expected to retain defensive back Devin McCourty.
McCourty is the crown jewel of free agency. While he doesn't come with the same degree of hooplah as Ndamukong Suh, he is the ultimate team player and was desired by every other franchise in football.
McCourty returns as a leader of the defense and is expected to be around for a long while. The coaches and players all love and respect the attitude that he brings to the locker room and the intelligence he displays on the field.
Bill Belichick gambled when he opted to franchise kicker Stephen Gostkowski over McCourty, but Belichick played the market perfectly and will likely be paying less than the franchise value for a safety over multiple years.
Source: Other interested teams have been told Devin McCourty plans to re-sign with Patriots, as @MikeGarafolo reported.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 9, 2015
McCourty has received a monster pay day from New England who have, once again, shown a willingness to pay their players who ascend to the top of the league.
#Patriots S Devin McCourty will sign a 5-year, $47.5M contract, source said. Wow. And... turned down more elsewhere— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2015
The deal is worth $9.5 million per season, which is the second highest for any safety in the NFL. McCourty is getting paid, so hopefully we'll never have to hear that the Patriots don't pay their players ever again.
Devin McCourty contract terms with Patriots, per source: 5 years, $47.5 million, including $28.5 million in total guarantees.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 9, 2015
ESPN's Mike Reiss is reporting a $28.5 million guaranteed component to the contract, but the structure of the report is important. "Guaranteed" numbers can be referring to a signing bonus, or to guaranteed annual salary based upon further stipulations, ex: McCourty has to be on the roster on the 5th day of the 2016 league year and his 2016 base salary will be guaranteed.
This allows the agent to promote the guaranteed number, while also providing the team with protection should the player's performance decline. Let's wait to see if the guaranteed amount is real. The $28.5 million figure would be the most guaranteed for an safety in the NFL.
McCourty is on Comcast Sportsnet with the following comments:
McCourty on CSN: "I knew, in my heart, that I wanted to be in New England."— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) March 9, 2015
McCourty to me: "we had 3 teams that I was seriously considering, but like I said all along I wanted to be back in NE so we worked it out"— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) March 9, 2015
McCourty: "I'm like any other human being..." Says there were a lot of teams that felt like a good fit that were offering good money.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 9, 2015
McCourty says he was close to leaving, felt there were several good fits, but happy "myself, Bill, front office able to work out a deal."— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 9, 2015
McCourty on CSN: Family, winning and happiness came into play when deciding to stay in New England.— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) March 9, 2015
McCourty: "Financially, they stepped up and hit all the numbers I wanted."— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 9, 2015
We'll provide more details as they're available.