According to Breer, McCourty could be destined to receiver New England’s franchise tag.
Previous reports had mentioned that the Patriots could use the franchise tag to gain some leverage in contract negotiations with McCourty.
The two sides have made no reported progress in recent months, which further suggests that the franchise tag could be coming McCourty.
The franchise tag for the safety position is somewhat team friendly at just over $9 million, especially when you consider that Seahawks S Earl Thomas set the bar for safeties at four-years, $40 million and $27.725 million guaranteed.
McCourty, 27, is in the final year of his five-year, $10 million contract that includes $7.825 million guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of $3.92 million for the 2014 season.
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. 6 player in our Top 50 – 2015 Free Agents list.