Interestingly enough, McCourty said that he hasn’t heard much from the team leading up to today’s deadline to apply franchise tags.
New England ultimately used the designation on K Stephen Gostkowski, which McCourty admits has increased the likelihood that he will be playing elsewhere in 2015.
“I really didn’t know,” McCourty said when asked about the Patriots’ decision to not franchise him. “There was no real information from them on if it was going to be me or (Stephen Gostkowski). So I was kind of going off of what everybody else was going off, with what people were reporting as far as sources and all that. So, I guess it’s more realistic now that (there’s) a chance that I might not be back there. Or there’s still a chance that I will, but I guess (there’s) more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process.”
McCourty did say the two sides would like to work something out that would allow him to be back in New England next year.
“No matter what they do with players somehow they always end up winning so,” McCourty said, per Anderson. “I really don’t know what their thought process is with me exactly, but I think both sides want to be back. So we will see how it works out.
“I want to play there, but I also understand it’s a business. I don’t want to play there no matter what, but I want to be back. We’ll have to see how it works out.”
On the topic of possibly playing for a new team, McCourty said:
“Not sure. I’m actually going to meet with my agent tomorrow to kind of start putting stuff together and try to get situated…We’ll have to see what teams are interested, and what the best situation is. But I know no matter where I go, it’s probably going to be a little different from New England. It’s a well-oiled machine there.…It’s my first time going through this. I really don’t know what to expect or what to think really.”
After the deadline passed, a number of reports mentioned that McCourty will have no shortage of suitors in free agency, given that a number of teams could really use a Pro Bowl-caliber safety.
McCourty, 27, played out his five-year, $10 million contract that includes $7.825 million guaranteed and will be an unrestricted free agent as of next week.
This season, McCourty appeared in 16 games for the Patriots and totaled 68 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. Pro Football Focus has McCourty ranked as the No. 8 safety in the league this season.
We have him currently listed as the No. 3 player in our Top 100 Free Agents list.