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ESPN Boston says the Patriots are more likely to use the franchise tag on K Stephen Gostkowski than S Devin McCourty.

Tagging Gostkowski would cost the Patriots roughly $4.5M while McCourty would be closer to $9.5M. Gostkowski has been one of the league's best kickers ever since the Patriots scooped him in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, converting 243-of-280 (86.8 percent) field-goal attempts.

Related: Isa Abdul-Quddus

Source: ESPN Boston Mar 2 - 11:18 AM

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Although the money could be better spent elsewhere, McCourty at FS would give a really good defensive backfield for years to come. We could focus solely on the front 7 for at least the next 2 years. He won't be cheap though, and I don't think we could win a bidding war with some of the teams who might have him locked in their sights.

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Stephen Gostkowski - K - Patriots

Patriots assigned the franchise tag to K Stephen Gostkowski.

The move means FS Devin McCourty will be headed to the open market. The tag for kickers is a relatively steep $4.126 million, but ensures the Pats will keep a kicker who has converted field goals at an 86.8 percent rate since 2006. Gostkowski was 35-of-37 on field-goal attempts in 2014, and is one of the league's very best, if not best, kickers.

Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter

Mar 2 - 2:49

Looks like McCourty will hit free agency.

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At least going after him makes sense. We could use a safety.

And you'd think that the market price might be a little lower for safeties this offseason after several teams have been burnt badly in free agency recently (Bucs with Goldson, Saints with Byrd, etc.)...

Though with the absolute dearth of talent in FA and the draft at safety this year, McCourty would still probably cost us like $9 mil. So ignore everything else I just said haha

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The Patriots did not assign the franchise tag to free agent FS Devin McCourty.

"McCourty will become a free agent when the new league year begins on March 10. He's far and away the best safety on the market and should land an annual salary somewhere between $8-10 million.

The $9.6 million McCourty would have received from the franchise tag was more than New England was willing to pay. This is considered a weak draft class for safeties, which makes McCourty in even higher demand.

It's no secret McCourty's twin brother Jason would love to play alongside his brother in Tennessee."

Rotoworld.com, via ESPN Boston

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McCourty is probably one of my favorite safeties in the league, and someone could probably argue that he is the best in the league right now. But because of that, he'll likely ask for a lot of money. I think if we are looking for a FA safety Rahim Moore would be a great safety to pick up.

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How many safeties in the league do you think would truly excel in a Cover 3 scheme? Earl Thomas is one, Devin McCourty another. Can you think of a lot off the top of your head? Those guys are special. I could name more pass rushers than Cover 3 safeties. And that's why I would pay the man. Quinn also believes he can develop a pass rush without breaking the bank. Yet the one guy in the secondary for Seattle that was a high first rounder was that Cover 3 guy.

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