Back in March, when the New England Patriots traded for defensive back Jason McCourty it spawned a treasure trove of feel-good stories about the McCourty twins playing together again. Then practices started.
Throughout training camp there have been questions about whether Jason would make the Patriots' roster to officially join his brother, Devin, on the 53-man squad. Several New England beat writers have projected the 31-year-old Jason to be among this weekend's cuts.
Following Thursday's final preseason game, the 10-year pro said he hopes he did enough to earn a roster spot.
"Nothing will be different for me this year than it's been in prior years," McCourty said, via Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. "I really don't concern myself with what goes on, especially this being year 10. I've probably exceeded every expectation I had for myself, going into my rookie year of what my NFL career would be. So whatever happens here, happens. You put it in God's hands. You play your best. However it goes down, it goes down."
The veteran participating in the final preseason tilt adds evidence to the thought that Jason McCourty is no lock to make the opening-season roster. He played 17 snaps on Thursday against the New York Giants, mainly as a safety, per Next Gen Stats. McCourty has lined up at both corner and safety during three preseason appearances. While the Patriots have a bigger need for a veteran backup corner, the team could view him as a safety, a position at which they're more solidly set.
Helping McCourty's effort to stay on the roster is the Patriots' decision to trade safety Jordan Richards to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Regardless of how it turns out this weekend, the NFL veteran is grateful for the chance to earn a spot playing with his brother.
"This has been a unique process so far," McCourty said. "It's been a lot of fun having (Devin) next to me, being able to have our families hang out with one another, mom having to come to one city to see us play. I've enjoyed every moment. Even coming in, in April, I kind of put a premium on that. You don't know what's going to unfold, how this thing's going to go. So just make sure throughout the process you enjoy every moment and soak it all in."
Cutting McCourty would save the Patriots $2.97 million on the salary cap. It would be a very Belichickian move for New England to release the defensive back before the start of the season and bring him back after Week 1 when veteran contracts are no longer guaranteed.