Report: Patriots retain key veteran defender


While it’s news that certainly pales in comparison to everything going on in the real world with the Coronavirus and even to questions regarding Tom Brady’s future, the Patriots reportedly have gotten some minor business done heading toward free agency.

According to ESPN, New England has officially picked up a one-year contract option for veteran cornerback Jason McCourty for 2020.

The Patriots have officially picked up the 2020 option for CB Jason McCourty, per source. McCourty had another rock solid year in 2019, starting 10 of 12 games. He will carry a cap charge of $5.5M for this season.

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2020

The option will reportedly pay McCourty a salary of just more than $2.6 million with an overall salary cap number of just more than $5.5 million.

McCourty, the twin brother of longtime Patriots safety Devin McCourty, started 10 of the 12 games he played last fall in Foxborough while battling a groin injury that required surgery this winter. He finished his second season in New England with 39 tackles, an interception and six passes defensed.

While Jason McCourty is now officially returning to the Patriots, his brother Devin is set to hit free agency next week. Retaining Jason McCourty, in theory, could help the Patriots lure Devin McCourty back to his role as a key figure in the back end of the New England defense where he’s played all 10 seasons of his NFL career as a former first-round pick.

Of course a big question regarding a potential return for Devin McCourty is the finances. He just finished the final year of a 5-year, $48 million contract that he signed the last time he hit free agency. He also had one of his better seasons at the age of 32, including five interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

While it’s uncertain how much the Patriots would be willing to pay Devin McCourty a year after he earned nearly $10 million in salary, bringing Jason McCourty back to the fold can’t hurt the recruitment/negotiation process at this point.

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