McCourty unclear on future, acknowledges leaving could be realistic

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe
Hold on to your horses, Pats fans. Devin McCourty acknowledged that leaving the Patriots could be a "realistic" possibility after the Patriots chose to put the franchise tag on Stephen Gostowski instead of him yesterday.

"I guess it’s more realistic now that (there’s) a chance that I might not be back there," McCourty told Anderson. "Or there’s still a chance that I will, but I guess (there’s) more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process.”

While the Pats still have exclusive rights to negotiate with McCourty until Saturday at 4 pm, if they can't reach a deal, McCourty will likely be a top target for teams in a thin safety market.

If you're an optimist, then you might view the decision to tag Gostowski instead of McCourty as a sign that they're close to a deal. If not, then he probably won't be back and some team with a lot of cap space will look to go after him once free agency officially starts. We'll see where this ends up, but I for one hope McCourty will be in a Patriots uniform next year.