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Jason McCourty explains how he got No. 30 from Duron Harmon

Ryan Hannable
May 08, 2018 - 6:14 pm

It will be a weird sight this season watching the Patriots secondary and seeing safety Duron Harmon wear No. 21, Malcolm Butler's old number. Harmon gave new cornerback Jason McCourty his old No. 30 and switched to No. 21.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, McCourty explained how it all came about.

"He actually was on the verge of wanting to switch numbers, as well," he said. "So, just in our Rutgers way, we were able to work it all out and everybody walks away happy."

Jason's twin brother Devin also addressed reporters on Tuesday and made it clear Jason isn't replacing Butler after coming over via trade with the Browns this offseason.

"I wouldn’t say that," he said. "You can’t replace guys that, whether it’s Malcolm, Nate [Solder], Dion [Lewis] – like those guys were a huge part of our team success over the last couple years. You just don’t pick a – no offense to Jason – but we just don’t bring a guy in here, whether it’s a veteran or rookie, and think they’re just going to take over a huge role that those play. So, we can’t replace those guys with just one guy. But, I think the thing you learn in the NFL is each year your team is different, so we’ll have to find different ways to win games without the Malcolm’s, without the Dion’s, the Nate’s. So, that’s the challenge of every offseason of trying to come together as a team."

Other new numbers include: Jeremy Hill (33), Trent Brown (67), Danny Shelton (71), Jordan Matthews (80), Cordarrelle Patterson (84), Kenny Britt (88) and Adrian Clayborn (94).