BOSTON (CBS) — During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, veteran safety and longtime Patriots captain Devin McCourty wondered aloud how life could get better than winning a Super Bowl with his twin brother as a teammate. He also wondered if he might want to retire and walk away from the game after reaching that pinnacle.
Alas, with a few weeks to reflect in the glow of victory (and present a Grammy to Lady Gaga), McCourty has decided he’s not ready to hang up his helmet.
McCourty said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast that he intends to play next season.
“I think in that moment, I kind of forgot I don’t play this game just to win Super Bowls,” McCourty said. “There’s so much more that comes from me playing the game that I love, and I think once you get a chance to step away for a couple of weeks now, you’re like, ‘Yeah, man. I still do want to be around these other young guys that come in.'”
McCourty will turn 32 years old in August. He was drafted by the Patriots with the 27th overall pick in 2010, and he’s played in 139 of a possible 144 regular-season games since then. He returned his lone interception of the past season 84 yards in Buffalo to score the first defensive touchdown of his career (he returned a kick for a touchdown in 2012), and he recorded 82 total tackles on the year — the third-highest total of his career.
McCourty has been a team captain every year since 2011, and he’s also played in all 22 of the Patriots’ playoff games over the past nine years, helping the Patriots to win three of the last five Super Bowls.
But McCourty said that he’s learned there’s much more to being a professional football player than just winning Super Bowls.
“If you play this game only for Super Bowls, you’re going to be very empty. Because as soon as you win it, it’s all about how you can win it next year,” McCourty said. “I’ve been five times and won three times, and all anybody cares about is if we win a seventh championship for the New England organization. So you have to play for so much more.”
McCourty’s twin brother, Jason, is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Jason took a jab at Devin on Twitter, reiterating his stance from Super Bowl week that his brother was just being a drama queen with the retirement speculation.
Devin McCourty is due to count for more than $13.4 million against the salary cap in 2019, so if he is to play his 10th year with New England, the team will likely try to restructure that deal to lessen the cap burden.