By all accounts, the Patriots were damn close to trading for Titans CB Jason McCourty before the 4 p.m. NFL Trade Deadline. The reported trade would have sent a 4th and 6th round draft pick to Tennessee, and the Patriots would be able to slot the McCourty twins into their questionable defense. The deal fell through, reportedly because of McCourty's lack of interest in restructuring his contract. However, don't forgot his name too fast.
Tennessee is in a tough situation right now. They just fired their head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, have a rookie QB in Marcus Mariota, and have only won one game this season. One would think that this would be the perfect opportunity to trade one of their better players for draft picks and prepare for next season, but something held up the deal.
McCourty is slated to make a base salary of $7 million the next two seasons, and it it more probable than not (see what I did there?) that Belichick wanted to restructure his deal. Fortunately for the Patriots, McCourty's cap number will go down the next two seasons, as the Patriots available cap salary goes up.
This season, the Patriots have more than $18 million in dead money, which will almost entirely come off the books next season (400K, as of now). As the Patriots are in a better cap situation, they may be interested in revisiting the Jason McCourty-To-New England theory this offseason.
McCourty isn't an elite corner, but he is pretty close. I would say that he is a Top 15, maybe Top 12, corner in the league and would have helped the Patriots immensely with their struggling secondary.
Nevertheless, keep him in mind for next season. The Patriots will be in the market for a corner, especially if that is their demise this season.
By Pete Packowski