By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Devin McCourty has a decision to make. The longtime Patriots safety is 34 and is not under contract beyond March, and while New England would likely want his veteran presence back on the field, McCourty needs to decide if he wants to play a 13th NFL season.

That decision will not come anytime soon. After New England’s season came to an abrupt end with a 47-17 loss to the Bills in the Wild Card Round, McCourty is going to take some time to ponder his future.

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Chatting with his twin brother and former Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty on their Double Coverage podcast, Devin said that he is in no rush to figure out his future. His immediate will include a lot of family time to take his mind off football.

“Just hanging out. Hanging out with the family, getting an opportunity to not think about football for at least a month or two,” he said to Jason. “You know, I think even at this age, I’m going to continue to do the offseason stuff that I usually do just to give myself that option of what you want to do next. But I still feel great.”

McCourty said he still feels like he can play at a high level, so his decision will come down to whether or not he’s mentally ready for the grind of another NFL season.

“Going over all the tests and things we do during the season with our sports performance guy, not having a drop-off in athletic ability and the physical traits to play the game, it all really comes down to mentally and being able to tap back in and going through a full season,” he said. “Those are the things you have to think about.

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“But I’m going to definitely take my time and see what happens for the future,” added McCourty. “I try not to say ‘I’ll never do this’ or ‘I’m only going to do that’ and just let it play out.”

McCourty has spent his entire career with the Patriots, who drafted him 27th overall back in 2010. He was obviously disappointed that the season came to such an embarrassing end in Buffalo, but is confident that the team will use that as motivation this offseason.

“Being on that sideline Saturday, we had the whole fourth quarter sitting there and thinking about all the work and how embarrassing it was. You’re seeing everything fall apart in front of you. Being a guy in his 12th year, you don’t know how many more opportunities you’ll have in the playoffs.” he said. “To witness that and have to go through that, ultimately, I think it will make guys better.”

“I told our group you have to use that to fuel you going into the offseason. You can’t feel sorry for yourself because we didn’t play well in a playoff game and it got ugly,” he said. “You have to let that fuel you for what’s next.”

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McCourty is very interested in the future of the Patriots, which he said is promising with rookies like Mac Jones and Christian Barmore making such a big impact in 2021. Eventually, we’ll find out if McCourty will be part of that future.

CBSBoston.com Staff