BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 05: Jason McCourty #30 of the New England Patriots and Devin McCourty #32 celebrate on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on February 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

New England’s longtime defensive leader is coming back for at least one more season. Making an appearance on the Sports Spectrum podcast, Devin McCourty said that he’s “gonna play” next year. The nine-year NFL veteran wouldn’t commit to returning in the days preceding Super Bowl LIII back in early February.

2018 was a special season for Devin McCourty, as the two-time Pro Bowler played alongside twin brother Jason McCourty for the first time in his professional career. McCourty was already a two-time champion prior to Super Bowl LIII, but the 2010 first-round pick acknowledged that winning a Super Bowl alongside his brother would be the highlight of his career. McCourty didn’t commit to playing in 2019 and suggested that Super Bowl LIII could be his last game. However, after reflecting for a few weeks, McCourty is now fully committed to coming back for the 2019 season.

“I think once you get a chance to step away for a couple weeks now, you’re like, ‘Yeah, man. I still do want to be around these other young guys…’” McCourty said. Obviously, the NFL takes a serious toll on the body, and McCourty has nothing left to prove in his storied career. However, McCourty still has a love for the game and the desire to chase yet another championship.

McCourty first entered the league as New England’s first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Initially selected as a cornerback, McCourty recorded 73 tackles, 17 passes defended, and seven interceptions as a rookie. This impressive performance earned him a Pro Bowl nod. However, McCourty struggled in 2011 and eventually moved to safety in 2012 after New England acquired Aqib Talib. Since changing positions, McCourty has been one of the most consistent and reliable safeties around the NFL.

Since 2013 (his first full season as a safety), McCourty has recorded 368 tackles, 36 passes defended, seven interceptions, five forced fumbles and two sacks. While he has slowed down in recent years, the 31-year old safety should still be poised to start and see the majority of the playing time in New England’s secondary.

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