More often than not, the New England Patriots maneuver well enough to put together a contending roster without spending too much money in one place. The exceptions over the years have been Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Otherwise, the cap space has been spread evenly.
In other words, head coach Bill Belichick knows value. In an alternate universe, he’s probably the Dollar General. So when you look around the league and see the types of contracts that are dished out for top talents, it’s hard not to appreciate Belichick’s poise on the free agent market for the most part.
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers made playmaker Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest-paid safety in NFL history with a four-year, ~$74 million contract. Does he deserve that money? Of course. Not many other safeties can impact a game like he can.
But is this the kind of contract that holds you back from spending elsewhere? Without question. Which now brings us to our main point: Devin McCourty’s value to the Patriots needs to be appreciated that much more.
Devin McCourty’s value to Patriots put in perspective after Minkah Fitzpatrick deal
McCourty returned to New England this offseason on a one-year deal after retirement rumors made their rounds.
He’s back for season No. 13 with the Patriots. Care to guess how much money he’s made across his career? Per Spotrac, McCourty, since 2010, has earned nearly $84 million to date and that will increase to almost $93 million after 2022.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick, in nine seasons (when his contract extension expires), will end up pocketing over $100 million. Their situations are fairly different, with Fitzpatrick debuting in 2018 and McCourty doing so in 2010 (meaning the financial landscape in the NFL has changed), but McCourty’s been a proven workhorse, playmaker and leader.
He’s missed just FIVE games in 12 seasons and hasn’t missed one since 2016. He’s a versatile defensive back who racks up tackles, creates turnovers, and forces opposing quarterbacks into poor decisions. His career has been three times as long as Fitzpatrick’s and his stats speak for themselves.
- Fitzpatrick from 2018-2021: 64 games, 13 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, 36 passes defended, 352 tackles
- McCourty from 2010-2021: 188 games, 31 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries, 102 passes defended, 900 tackles … and 3 Super Bowls
We think you get what we’re trying to say.