No member of the New England Patriots played more defensive snaps from September into January than Devin McCourty.
The safety and captain is now recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, according to a report Tuesday from Mike Reiss of ESPN.
McCourty, who turns 36 in August, has yet to make an official announcement on his NFL future. The three-time Super Bowl champion’s contract is scheduled to void midway through March.
Through all 17 games in 2022, McCourty stayed in for 97 percent of the downs to total 71 tackles and four interceptions. Along with a pass breakup in the end zone and a fumble recovery, his 35th career pick arrived in the finale against the Buffalo Bills.
“Devin has done about everything a player could do for this program,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reflected the week prior. “Say the same thing about Matt Slater in the kicking game. I mean, I don’t know if there’s ever been or ever going to be a player than Matt Slater as an overall special teams player and the leadership he brought to the team, along with Devin. Devin came in as a corner, went to the Pro Bowl, moved to safety, led the defense from the safety position from his second year on. His off-the-the field leadership, on-the-field leadership is superior, as good as anybody I’ve ever coached at that position.”
The eldest member of New England’s defense, McCourty stands 205 starts into his tenure. The 2010 first-round draft choice out of Rutgers also stands as a two-time Pro Bowler, three-time second-team All-Pro and member of the franchise’s All-Decade team.