ESPNSafety Devin McCourty, who said he might retire if the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, will be back for a 10th season in New England.

“Yeah, I’m gonna play,” McCourty told the Sports Spectrum podcast in an interview published Thursday.

Phewwwwwwwwwwww. That’s a big one off of our shoulders. No matter what we always are going to go through the free agency “shit our pants and wait” process every few years with the Pats – we’ll we worry about losing key FAs, lose them, get pissed at Belichick, and then end up winning anyway and realizing he’s smarter than us at football. But losing a key piece of our “D” to just flat out retiring out of nowhere, that would suck.

McCourty has been an anchor on our D and a leader overall for this team for awhile now. He had to be. There were some rough times on the non-Brady side of the ball. But whether it has been playing center field, strong safety, in the box, or basically as a coverage corner, McCourty has showed up and done his damn job. He’s not always perfect, but he gives it 120% no matter what.

We still have to wonder about the end of the line for #32. His brother, Jason, said Devin was just being dramatic when he said he might retire with a Super Bowl win this year. But the fact is that he is now a three-time Super Bowl champ, a two-time Pro Bowler, and an eight-time team captain. There is not a lot left for him to accomplish and by the end (and actually the beginning) of this season he’ll be 32 years old and will have played 10 years. That could be enough.

But for now we have our defensive stalwart back. We can turn our full worries to FA Trey Flowers and company. The original star from Rutgers remains safely at the back end of our “D” where he belongs.

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