Devin McCourty made it clear this offseason that despite his upcoming free agency, there was no way he'd be suiting up in another team's uniform.
He left no question about that Friday afternoon, announcing his retirement after an illustrious 13-year career with the New England Patriots before the NFL's calendar year came to an end.
Even before speculation that the 2022 season could potentially be McCourty's last, his career as a three-time Super Bowl champion, three-time All-Pro, and two-time Pro Bowler cemented his legacy as a Patriots legend. Both Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick shared that sentiment in their statements about what his leadership on and off the field meant to the team.
Truly, few players were as impactful to New England as McCourty.
McCourty broke the news via Instagram in an interview with his twin brother, former Patriots defensive back Jason McCourty.
"I'm officially retiring from the NFL. It has been a great ride. I got the opportunity to talk to Mr. Kraft to talk to Bill, a lot of the guys on the defensive staff," McCourty said about his decision.
"Unbelievable ride man, and I think it's always tough to kind of come to the end as you know. This whole offseason has been so much back-and-forth for me mentally -- probably not even sharing as much of the thoughts that I was just going between from one day to the next day. But ultimately, I think this is the best decision for me, my family, for my career, is to be able to now look back at my 13 years and just enjoy it."
After spending a week on the set of NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" with his brother, and taking reps as a guest analyst at a few major sports networks any chance he could, it's no surprise he'll be following in Jason's footsteps and pursuing broadcasting.
"I'm excited," McCourty said of the next chapter.
"I'm excited about what's to come. I never thought I'd be able to retire from the NFL. It's all I've ever done really is play football and be excited about having another job but everything you've done has shown me that is possible. So I'm excited to kind of follow your footsteps once again, and then be better than you, so it should be a great journey and I'm ready to do it, man."
Where that opportunity will come from, though, is too be determined. His first media free agency likely won't last long, but he's ready to adjust to life without an NFL paycheck going forward.
"I'm hoping I get job offers after sitting down with the Jason McCourty and talking about my future," McCourty said.
"So that is the big plan. But again, we'll see how it kind of goes, where it turns, but I'm just I'm ready to ride that path and see. I told my wife we're about to cut all spending, because as of March 15 we don't have a job. We need to find a new job and that's the plan is to find a new job right away."