Jets Figure To Have Big Interest, While Giants Will Likely Need To Get Creative

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jets and the Giants figure to be interested in a safety once free agency starts.

It just so happens that the best one on the market wouldn’t mind playing for a New York team.

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Devin McCourty has developed into one of the best safeties in the NFL. He played a big role in the Patriots winning Super Bowl XLIX.

And now he’s in the position to get paid handsomely.

Speaking to NJ Advance Media recently, the Nyack, N.Y., native and former Rutgers standout said even though he loves it in New England he’s ready to see what else is out there, especially since the Patriots recently used their franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, allowing McCourty to become a free agent.

“I would be lying if I said that it wouldn’t be cool being back home,” McCourty said. “But I also know being back home comes with some new stresses and different things that way with family and friends being so close. For me right now, everything is open. I don’t want to turn something down. I’m willing to leave everything open and see how it works out.”

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Insiders believe the 27-year-old two-time All-Pro figures to command in the $8 million to $10 million range per season on the open market.

“The whole time I was kind of just waiting for that deadline to see what those steps were going to be, and now me and my agents know, so it’s kind of exciting,” McCourty said of the team;s franchise tag decision. “The process really begins now.”

The Jets are currently around $55 million under the salary cap and will undoubtedly be looking to upgrade a secondary that was brutal last season. New general manager Mike Maccagnan will likely allocate a big percentage of the team’s money for a safety and at least one cornerback.

The Giants’ situation is less cut and dry. Though head coach Tom Coughlin has said he wants him back, veteran Antrel Rolle will likely be a free agent when the signing period starts on Tuesday. However, the Giants are reportedly only $13 million under the cap, have to pay franchised defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and reportedly are considering going after defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the consensus top free agent available.

McCourty said he knows he will have options and is looking forward to the free agency process.

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“Now it’s deciding what to do next as far as visits and different offers and what will happen from there,” McCourty said. “I’m talking to my agents and seeing what’s best for me and getting their opinion and what they’ve heard and what they know as of right now.”