Jason McCourty makes it clear he wants to return to New England

Ryan Hannable
February 25, 2019 - 9:30 am

Jason McCourty will play his 11th NFL season in 2019, and he's hoping it's like his 10th -- in New England.

The 31-year-old will become a free agent in March, but speaking to NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran over the weekend, McCourty made it clear his first choice is to stay in New England and play for the Patriots.

“First and foremost, if I could be back in New England and all of that works out, that would be awesome,” he said. “That way it wouldn’t be the third consecutive year I had to move my family. That would be an advantage. But at the same time you realize how much of this is a business and how much of this isn’t dictated by [the feeling], ‘Hey, I just want to play here with my brother and the guys I built a relationship with.’ There’s so much more that goes into it.

“For me, [the approach will be] letting it play out. When March rolls around we’ll see where everything’s at and then at the end of the day we’ll see where the opportunities are and then make a decision.”

McCourty has played for the Titans, Browns and Patriots, but has never been a free agent when the new league year has opened, so he hasn't truly experienced being a free agent.

“I spent the first eight years of my career in Tennessee and never saw free agency,” McCourty said. “And then, 10 days before the draft, I was released by Tennessee and thrown into free agency. I felt like I kind of got shafted a little bit in my free agency experience that year because by waiting so long to release me, 10 corners had already been picked up and it was really just the bottom of the barrel left. I’d like to make a decision before April for sure so I don’t get stuck in that same situation.”

He was traded from the Browns to the Patriots before free agency last season to play with his twin brother Devin.

Even with a number of young cornerbacks on the roster, it would seem the Patriots would like to have Jason back on a team-friendly deal.

Related: Hannable: Patriots desperately need to add young talent, and that process begins this week

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