Jason McCourty

Pats Did Not Make Offer To Jason McCourty

After a three-year reunion, the McCourty brothers again went their separate ways this season. As Devin McCourty remains in the same role he has occupied for the past 12 years, Jason is with a fourth NFL team.

The 13th-year cornerback signed a veteran-minimum deal with the Dolphins, doing so after meeting with the Giants. While a lower-level market formed for Jason McCourty, the Patriots were not overly interested in bringing him back. New England did not submit an offer to keep Jason, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes.

With McCourty accepting a vet-minimum contract, his market was certainly not robust. But he has remained a viable secondary cog despite his age. The last active corner from the 2009 draft, the Rutgers product has continued to deliver for his various teams (Titans, Browns, Patriots, Dolphins).

The Pats used the veteran cover man as a 33-game starter, and he added three playoff starts during the team’s Super Bowl-winning 2018 season. New England is currently playing without top corner Stephon Gilmore, who is on the team’s PUP list. While the Pats moved offseason signing Jalen Mills back to corner and still have J.C. Jackson and slot man Jonathan Jones, it is interesting they did not make much of an effort to retain McCourty given the minimal cost.

McCourty has started both Miami’s games this season and, at 34, played 94% of the team’s defensive snaps. While Pro Football Focus slotted him outside its top 75 at corner last season, he grades as a top-20 safety thus far in his second tour of duty with Brian Flores.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Davis, McCourty, Pats, Bills

Corey Davis will be expected to play a critical role for the Jets this season, but he will need some time off first. The fifth-year wide receiver suffered a shoulder injury during Jets OTAs, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Davis landed on his shoulder after attempting to make a leaping catch. This is believed to be a minor shoulder strain, though Garafolo adds that Dr. James Andrews examined the former top-five pick. Davis, who signed this year’s second-most lucrative wideout contract (three years, $37.5MM), is not expected to require surgery.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Dolphins added Jason McCourty early this month. The veteran cornerback is expected to play a key depth role in Miami, and Brian Flores said (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald) some work at safety is possible for the three-year Patriots corner starter. McCourty saw most of his snaps at corner in 2020 but did work as a safety on 75 plays. The Dolphins let Bobby McCain go this offseason but have ex-Pats corner Eric Rowe and second-rounder Jevon Holland at safety. As for McCourty’s compensation, Jackson adds the 33-year-old defender signed for the veteran minimum. His base salary is nearly fully guaranteed, with OverTheCap noting McCourty is locked into $987K of that $1.1MM figure.
  • Joe Thuney‘s departure for Kansas City will create a vacancy at New England’s left guard spot for the first time in many years. The Patriots‘ first-string left guard since 2016, Thuney has yet to miss a game during his career. The Pats, however, may have located a gem in 2020 sixth-round pick Michael Onwenu. The Michigan product started 16 games and played more on the edge than at guard as a rookie. But it looks like the Pats will shift Onwenu to a full-time guard role, with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss noting he lined up as their first-string left guard in OTAs. The Pats traded for Trent Brown and are expected to use him at right tackle, Onwenu’s primary 2020 position. Pro Football Focus graded Onwenu as a top-10 tackle last season.
  • Brown and Isaiah Wynn are set to be the Pats’ starting tackles, and Reiss adds Justin Herron looks like the top candidate to be their swing backup. Drafted 13 spots ahead of Onwenu in last year’s sixth round, Herron started six games and played 351 snaps as a rookie. PFF graded Herron 56th overall at tackle in 2020. Considering Wynn’s injury history, the Pats’ swing-tackle role is a pivotal gig.
  • Long snappers have a rigid salary structure. Entering last week, a seven-way tie existed for the league’s highest paid deep snapper. But the Bills appear to have broken said tie. Buffalo made Reid Ferguson the highest-paid snap specialist, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Though it is not known how much more than the previous snapper-high figure ($1.2MM) the Bills are giving Ferguson, Pelissero adds that the fifth-year snapper will receive a $675K signing bonus.

Dolphins To Sign CB Jason McCourty

Jason McCourty is switching AFC East squads. The veteran cornerback is signing with the Dolphins, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport tweets that it’s a one-year deal for the 33-year-old.

Earlier this offseason, McCourty made it clear that he intended to continue his playing career, with the Giants being mentioned as a potential suitor. Instead of heading back to New Jersey (where he played both college and high school football), he’s heading to Miami. On the Dolphins, he’ll be reunited with head coach Brian Flores, who served as McCourty’s defensive coordinator during their lone season together in New England.

Besides the familiarity between the vet and the head coach, there could be another reason for the signing. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wonders (on Twitter) if the McCourty signing is “insurance against a Xavien Howard contract issue.” Howard is seeking a raise, and Salguero seems to imply that the cornerback could miss time due to the negotiations. Even if Howard is in the lineup, McCourty is still a savvy veteran who the coaching staff can safely rely on. The defensive back could also be an option at safety.

The Patriots had one of the NFL’s best cornerback contingents last season, and McCourty was one of the captains of the defense. However, he saw a reduced role in 2020, as the 33-year-old (34 in August) played on 65% of the Pats’ defensive snaps and started eleven games. Pro Football Focus placed him outside of the top 75 at his position — a significant drop from 2018 (No. 6) and 2019 (No. 18) rankings. The veteran ultimately finished the campaign having compiled 42 tackles and three passes defended.

McCourty accomplished his goals of playing alongside his brother, Devin McCourty, and winning a Super Bowl during his three-year stint in New England. The former sixth-round spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Titans before a one-year stint with the Browns in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Multiple Teams Interested In Jason McCourty

Jason McCourty’s recent visit with the Giants went well, according to sources who spoke with ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). However, there are other teams in the mix, so it’s unlikely that the cornerback will put pen to paper straight away. 

[RELATED: Will Giants Draft WR In First Round?]

McCourty huddled up with former Patriots coach Joe Judge earlier this week. The deal wouldn’t just be a reunion — it’d be a homecoming for the Rutgers product, allowing him to play about an hour north of New Brunswick. McCourty spent the past three seasons with the Patriots, alongside his twin brother Devin. Now, he could spend his 13th season in New Jersey, supporting James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, and defensive back Logan Ryan.

The 33-year-old (34 in August) played on 65% of the Pats’ defensive snaps and started eleven games last year. However, Pro Football Focus placed him outside of the top 75 at his position — a significant drop from 2018 (No. 6) and 2019 (No. 18) rankings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Meet With CB Jason McCourty

Having already handed out a big cornerback contract this offseason, the Giants are still looking for additional help at the position. They are hosting Jason McCourty on a visit Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

This comes a few weeks after a report indicated mutual interest existed between McCourty and the Giants. He will huddle up with former Patriots assistant Joe Judge and other Giants brass to discuss a deal.

A Giants agreement would represent a homecoming of sorts for McCourty, who is a Rutgers alum who also played his high school ball in New Jersey. Jason McCourty, who entered the NFL a year ahead of twin brother Devin, spent the past three seasons with the Patriots. The 33-year-old corner intends to play a 13th season, and the Giants may ensure he does so in his home state. McCourty has a home in New Jersey and has a history with Judge.

The second-year Giants coach was on the Patriots’ staff for Jason McCourty’s first two seasons in New England, though he served as the Pats’ special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach during that span. Despite the Patriots having one of the NFL’s best cornerback contingents last season, McCourty played 65% of the team’s defensive snaps and started 11 games. Pro Football Focus observed a decline in play from the 12th-year veteran, however, dropping him outside the top 75 at cornerback after previously slotting him sixth (in 2018) and 18th (in ’19) at the position.

The Giants have made big-ticket additions at corner in each of the past two offseasons, having added James Bradberry last year and Adoree’ Jackson last month. They also have Logan Ryan locked down as well, after signing the former Patriots and Titans defender late last summer. McCourty, who has 18 career interceptions and three defensive touchdowns, would add to this overhaul under Judge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jason McCourty On Giants’ Radar?

The Giants already gave Adoree’ Jackson a lucrative deal to join James Bradberry at cornerback. Joe Judge may be interested in bringing a more familiar cover man to New York as well.

Mutual interest is believed to exist between the Giants and Jason McCourty, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post (on Twitter). McCourty spent the past three seasons with the Patriots; Judge was on New England’s staff for two of those slates.

McCourty confirmed he will intend to play a 13th NFL season, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter). Considering twin brother Devin McCourty remains under contract with the Patriots, it would seem to keep them in the mix for the 33-year-old corner. But Jason McCourty, who has also played with the Titans and Browns, may be ready to move elsewhere again.

The 12-year defender is a New York native who played collegiately in New Jersey (Rutgers). He started 11 games for a deep Patriots cornerback corps last season, playing 65% of the Pats’ defensive snaps. The former sixth-round pick has made 137 NFL starts. He would certainly add experience to a Giants corner crew that has given Bradberry an experienced cover man in Jackson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Pick Up Jason McCourty’s Option

The Patriots have officially exercised Jason McCourty‘s option for the 2020 season, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The cornerback will earn nearly $4MM as a result and the move may help the Patriots retain his twin brother Devin McCourty

The twins, 33 in August, previously said that they plan to continue playing in the NFL. However, Devin is slated to reach free agency in a couple of weeks, where he could fetch some big money offers. The Patriots want to keep him, but they’re also not inclined to pay open market money to their own FAs.

Last year, Jason appeared in 12 games (ten starts) and registered 39 tackles and one interception. His performance earned him a 74.4 grade from Pro Football Focus, ranking him 17th among all qualified cornerbacks. Despite his advanced age, that makes his 2020 salary a tremendous value for the Pats. Meanwhile, Bill Belichick & Co. are hoping that this leads to a new deal with Devin, who has been a mainstay in their secondary at multiple spots since 2010.

Devin, for his part, has voiced concern about quarterback Tom Brady potentially leaving the team. But regardless of where Brady and the standout safety wind up, the Patriots will hold the rights to Jason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots’ Jason McCourty To Continue Playing

Twins tend to think alike. On Friday, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty confirmed that he’ll continue playing in 2020 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

Jason’s declaration comes just days after Devin McCourty told reporters that he will also suit up for another year. However, it’s worth noting that their contracts aren’t in sync. Jason is signed through 2020 and scheduled to count for a $5.7MM cap figure, though the Pats could save $4MM with just $1.75MM in dead money if they wanted to release him. Devin, meanwhile, will be a free agent in March.

Both McCourtys say they’ll be on the field in 2020 – even if its not with the Pats.

I’m pretty wide open. When you play 10 years somewhere, it’s not always a definite to return,” Devin said.

Jason appeared in 12 games (ten starts) at cornerback last year, notching 39 tackles, one interception, and a solid 74.4 score from PFF that positioned him as the No. 17 ranked CB in the league. Meanwhile, Devin started all 16 games for the fourth consecutive year, logged five interceptions — his highest total since the 2012 campaign — and allowed a completion percentage of 54.3 as the nearest defender in coverage.

When the twins turn 33 in August, they’ll be in training camp. It’s just not certain that it’ll be in New England.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Lee, Allen, Fins

Rich Cimini of ESPN.com believes the Jets, who set a league spending record by doling out $137MM in total guarantees in free agency thus far, are very interested in trading down from their No. 3 overall pick to accumulate more draft capital. Despite its high-spending ways, New York still has a number of holes to fill, and with his QB of the future already in tow, GM Mike Maccagnan — who is under a ton of pressure this year — may look to add picks so that he can address those holes in the draft. After all, the Jets have only six picks in the draft at present, the third-fewest in the league.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • In the same piece linked above, Cimini writes that the Jets will look to shop linebacker Darron Lee during the draft. Lee is expendable now that C.J. Mosley is in the fold, and even if New York does not find any takers, Cimini does not think the club will cut Lee immediately. He suggests that the Jets could hold on to Lee in the hopes that another team suddenly finds itself in need of a young LB with a first-round pedigree, and he points out that New York was able to deal another disappointing first-round pick, Calvin Pyror, in a June trade several years ago.
  • The Patriots recently re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the club actually had a multiyear offer on the table. Allen, though, preferred the shorter option because he did not like the money he was being offered on the open market, and he wanted a chance to increase his worth on a prove-it deal. Reiss says, however, that New England could be more inclined to bring in competition for Allen, just as it did last season.
  • Reiss observes that cornerback Jason McCourty, who recently signed a two-year, $10MM pact to remain with the Patriots, did receive interest from several other clubs. McCourty had made it clear that he wanted to return to New England, so while he appreciated the opportunity to hit the open market at the start of free agency for the first time in his career, he is happy with how things turned out.
  • New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has, predictably, refuted the talk that his team is tanking in 2019, and he would not concede that the club is embarking on a multiyear rebuild, either. As Grant Gordon of NFL.com writes, Flores told the NFL Network’s Judy Battista, “I think every team’s rebuilding. That’s this league. Every team rebuilds every year because no team is the same every year. I can tell you, we’re going to go try, gonna go out there and try to win every game. I think the foundation is there, and we’ll just, you know, like every other team we’re building.”

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts: