FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty has trouble settling on one thing that excites him most about finally playing alongside twin brother Devin next season.
He’s looking forward to everything — from sitting in team meetings to sweating through offseason workouts.
That’s because Jason wants to soak up every moment of a dream they’ve shared since he was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2009 and Devin went to the Patriots in 2010.
“I’m excited just about the opportunity just to be able to now share the field with Devin. Just to be able to do something that we grew up loving,” Jason McCourty said Tuesday. “With this opportunity you think back to being 10 years old, waking up early to head to a Pop Warner game.”
It took nearly 10 seasons, but it’s finally happening after Jason’s trade from Cleveland to New England last week. It’ll be the first time the 30-year-old brothers have shared the field since they played at Rutgers.
The reunion almost occurred after last season when Jason was released by the Titans. But the Patriots were already set at cornerback after they signed Stephon Gilmore to a multiyear deal to start alongside Malcolm Butler.
“In my mind I was like, I don’t know if this thing will ever happen,” McCourty said.
Jason spent the 2017 season with the Browns and was preparing to be released this offseason after a call from Cleveland’s front office.
But with Butler departing New England to sign with the Titans just days earlier, Devin — one of the Patriots starting safeties — seized on news. He texted Patriots assistant Brian Flores, asking “How do we get J to New England?”
Devin also reached out to coach Bill Belichick directly, but by that time a trade was already being worked out. About an hour later, Jason was in the gym when he got a call from his brother.
“He was like, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re going to trade for you and you’re coming to New England,’” Jason recalled. “I thought he was joking around. But then, five minutes later I get a call from (Browns general manager) John Dorsey in Cleveland. … It was a roller-coaster type of day.”
Jason, who has never competed in a playoff game, goes from a winless Browns team to a perennial Super Bowl contender and defending AFC champion in New England.
He shared vicariously in Devin’s successes, which included two Super Bowl wins. Jason become acquainted with New England players over the years and expects those relationships will help him transition to his third NFL team.
He’ll bolster the Rutgers contingent on the Patriots’ roster, which also includes safety Duron Harmon and receiver Kenny Britt.
The brothers will bring their knowledge accrued separately during the past decade.
“That’s probably one of the most intriguing parts of us teaming back up at this point,” Jason said. “How differently we see things or how much alike. I think that’s probably going to be intriguing for the coaches as well.”
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