The New England Patriots may have just won the Super Bowl, but there are already rumors of tension behind the scenes in Foxboro.
Despite getting what ended up being the biggest play of the Super Bowl from its secondary — Malcolm Butler’s goal line interception to preserve the win — the Patriots have been dismantling their defensive backfield, and it’s now leading to some difficult situations.
The Patriots have gotten rid of their top three corners from last year — Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington — and now may be looking to moving safety Devin McCourty to cornerback.
The Boston Herald noted as follows.
“McCourty has been a valuable asset at free safety since sliding over to that position three years ago. If you were to move him back to cornerback, he could very well be the best at the position on the depth chart.
During his first few years, he was a competent cornerback, even earning a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie. But in weighing his skills against the two positions, he’s a better safety.”
There are rumors that this has created some tension within the New England Patriots, and McCourty hinted that he wasn’t happy with the move.
“It’s up to the coaches,” McCourty said this week, per The Boston Globe. “I want to play safety, but it’s out of my control, so whatever the coaches decide is what it will have to be.”
McCourty also seemed miffed when asked if he had discussed a position change with coaches.
“You’ve got to ask the coaches about that. I’m not in the staff meetings.”
There are others who disagree with moving McCourty out of the safety spot.
“I think they’d prefer to leave him at safety, as opposed to creating another question mark somewhere else,” NFL Network analyst Solomon Wilcots told the Boston Herald. “But the corner position is so important. If they show he’s better than the next guy, and they need someone to man that position, I think they’ll leave themselves the opportunity to do that.”
Like usual, the Patriots are saying little about the possible move. Coach Bill Belichick has not given any indication where McCourty could be playing next season, and likely wouldn’t give anything away before he has to.
If the rumors are true, the New England Patriots could be creating strife within what is already a struggling defensive group. This week, Around The NFL‘s Chris Wesseling called the Patriots’ defensive backs one of the league’s worst overall position groups.
[Image via Getty Images / Ronald Martinez]