Patriots safety Devin McCourty announces retirement after 13 decorated seasons

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 01: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots leaves the field after their win over the Miami Dolphins in the last game of the season at Gillette Stadium on January 01, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots is hanging up his cleats. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty is retiring after 13 seasons with the team exclusively, he announced Friday with some help from his twin brother, Jason.

McCourty walks away from the league as a three-time Super Bowl champion, three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler at two different positions. He recorded 971 tackles, 11 forced fumbles, three sacks and 35 interceptions over the years.

Jason retired in July of 2022 following a 13-season career with four teams, including the Patriots and Tennessee Titans. He now works for NFL Network on the "Good Morning Football" team and excitedly reported his brother's retirement, calling it his "first bit of breaking news."

Here's the touching Instagram "broadcast:"

Jason led into Devin's announcement by referencing a recent tweet that made headlines. In hopes to land McCourty, Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day tweeted at McCourty, "Dev what's good, I hear you're a free agent is that correct?" McCourty responded with a flurry of laughing emojis: "I only look good in a Pats uniform bro."

In the Instagram segment posted Friday, McCourty told his brother, "I will always look good in a Pats uniform, but I will no longer look good in a Pats uniform going forward." The 35-year-old said he went through "so much back and forth," but came to decision he feels is best for himself, his family and his career.

McCourty mentioned having conversations with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and general manager/head coach Bill Belichick as he deliberated. Both of them released statements Friday.

"Devin has been such an important part of the success we have enjoyed over the past 13 seasons," Kraft wrote. "As great as his contributions were on the field, he made an even greater impact in the community."

Kraft cited McCourty's advocacy efforts for a sickle cell anemia cure, criminal justice reform and "countless other educational and economical advancement initiatives."

Belichick also praised McCourty's character. "It is a rare group of players who win games at a historic rate, exude team culture, lead, win awards, and win championships. And then there is Devin McCourty. Devin did all of those things as a player and more," he wrote. "For 13 years, Devin made everyone in our organization feel better and be better because of who he is."

The Patriots offered a social media tribute, calling McCourty the "ultimate leader."

"It has been a great ride and it's always tough to come to the end, you know," McCourty said, adding that playing football is all he's "ever done really."

When Jason joked that his brother could now go on more vacations, McCourty made it clear that the beginning of his retirement is all business. The directive: "find a new job," ideally one in media. "Excited to follow your footsteps and be better than you," he told his brother.