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Patriots safety Devin McCourty on his future: ‘I’m definitely going to take my time’ to make a decision

Related: Matthew Slater noncommittal about future after Patriots’ playoff exit

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Devin McCourty has had a highly career in the NFL so far. The former first-round draft pick has appeared in a combined 212 regular season and playoff games and has won three Super Bowl rings as a starter in the New England Patriots’ secondary.

Heading into his 13th offseason, however, he will have to make a decision. At age 34 and under no contract beyond March, every option appears to be on the table for the future Patriots Hall of Famer.

He knows that too. Speaking on the Double Coverage podcast he runs together with his twin brother, former New England cornerback Jason McCourty, McCourty said that he would take his time to make any decisions about how to continue his career.

“Just hanging out,” he said when talking about his offseason plans. “Hanging out with the family, getting an opportunity to not think about football for at least a month or two. I think even at this age, I’m going to continue to do the offseason stuff that I usually do, just to give myself that option of what you want to do next. But I still feel great.

“Going over all of the tests and all the things that we do during the season with our sports performance guy Johan, I haven’t had a drop-off in athletic ability and the physical traits to play the game. It all really comes down to mentally and being ready, and being able to tap back in and go through a full season. I think those are the things you have to think about, but I’m definitely going to take my time and see what happens for the future.”

Despite the Patriots’ ugly playoff exit versus the Buffalo Bills, McCourty had another quality season as a leader in the team’s defensive backfield and team captain. In those roles, he appeared in all 18 games and registered three interceptions.

However, he will enter unrestricted free agency in two months. While theoretically under contract through 2024, his deal will void if he is not signed by the first day of the new league year.

The Patriots will likely be open to having McCourty back, even with Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips both on long-term deals at the safety position. However, it all comes down to whether or not he wants to return for another run and a potential shot at going out on top.

No matter what happens, though, McCourty predicts a bright future for the organization. The team’s ability to bounce back from a 2-4 start in 2021 and reach the playoffs was an encouraging sign to him, especially considering the many contributions made by young players such as quarterback Mac Jones or defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

“To turn that around and have a chance in the playoffs I think speaks to the future in New England with some of the young, talented players they have,” McCourty said. “I think the future’s going to be bright.”

Whether or not McCourty will be part of it remains to be seen, though.