Patriots' Devin McCourty announces retirement

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday after 13 seasons, which included three Super Bowl championships.

"I'm officially retiring from the NFL. It has been a great ride," McCourty said in a video posted to Instagram with his twin brother, Jason. "I think it's always tough to come to the end. This whole offseason has been so much back-and-forth for me mentally, but ultimately I think this is the best decision for me, for my family, and my career."

McCourty said he spoke with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and members of the team's defensive coaching staff about his decision.

"I got to say to Bill, 'Now I get the chance to reminisce and look back and not have to focus on how can I be better.'"

McCourty, who turns 36 in August, entered the NFL as a first-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2010 out of Rutgers (No. 27 overall).

He played in 205 regular-season games for the franchise (fifth most in team history), starting all of them and totaling 982 tackles and 35 interceptions.

The 35 picks, which are third most in franchise history behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Ty Law and Patriots Hall of Famer Raymond Clayborn, are the most among active players.

He also started 24 playoff games, more than any defensive back in NFL history, amassing 118 tackles and two interceptions.

McCourty had said teaming up with Jason in 2018 and winning a Super Bowl title together was one of his career highlights.

His leadership was evident early as he was named a captain in only his second season. He served as a captain for 12 straight seasons and is one of just seven players in NFL history to start in at least five Super Bowls.

McCourty began his NFL career as a cornerback before switching to safety in 2012 after the team had a run of injuries at that spot. It turned out to be his permanent home from that point on.

"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," Belichick said in a statement Friday. "Devin did all of those things as a player and more. But, what I think of first when I think of Devin is the type of man he is, his character, his values and how high he raised the bar for spreading goodness and justice in the community. For 13 years, Devin made everyone in our organization feel better and be better because of who he is -- a pillar of professionalism, unselfishness, work ethic, preparation, intelligence and performance. I am excited to see him bring those same traits to his next chapter and brighten the lives of even more people."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also spoke glowingly of McCourty.

"As a Patriots fan, it's always bittersweet to see such an iconic player announce his retirement, but I couldn't be happier for Devin, Michelle, and the McCourty family or more thankful to his mother, Phyllis," Kraft said. "Through his individual performance and overall leadership, Devin has been such an important part of the success we have enjoyed over the past 13 seasons, including each of our last three Super Bowl championships. As great as his contributions were on the field, he made an even greater impact in the community, taking a leadership role in his advocacy for finding a cure for sickle cell anemia, effecting legislative change for criminal justice reform, and championing countless other educational and economical advancement initiatives. We couldn't have asked for a better leader and ambassador, both on and off the field."

McCourty, who has previously expressed an interest in sports media, said he's unsure what his next step will be.

"I'm ready to ride that path and see," he said.