New England Patriots re-sign S Devin McCourty

The Patriots were unable to re-sign Darrelle Revis, but they did well to bring back Devin McCourty before the start of free agency. It was a weak safety market so McCourty easily could have been overpaid, but this deal, which pays him 47.5 million over 5 years with 28.5 million guaranteed, is appropriate for someone of McCourty’s skill set. It’s right in the middle in total money, annual salary, and guaranteed money between what Earl Thomas got last off-season and what Jairus Byrd got last off-season. Thomas re-signed for 40 million over 4 years with 27.725 million guaranteed, while Byrd signed for 4 million over 6 years with 28 million guaranteed.

It’s a lot of money, but McCourty is arguably the best safety in the NFL. He entered the NFL as a cornerback, moved to safety in the middle of the 2012 season and has pretty much been dominant wherever he’s been. He’s graded out above average in all 5 seasons he’s been in the league since the Patriots drafted him in the 1st round in 2010 and, with the exception of 2011, he’s been an elite player in every season. In 2010, he was Pro Football Focus’ 7th ranked cornerback. In 2012, his composite grade across cornerback and safety would have been 5th among cornerbacks and 4th among safeties. And in the last two seasons, he’s been Pro Football Focus’ 1st and 8th ranked safety respectively. He and Eric Weddle are the only two safeties to grade out in the top-8 in each of the last 2 seasons. This deal isn’t a great value or anything, but it’s a solid move.

Grade: B+

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