Negotiations between the Patriots and first-round draft choice Devin McCourty have been slower than anticipated, with the sides unable to strike a deal by Sunday, July 25th’s reporting date for rookies.
The Patriots and McCourty’s representatives would not comment on the status of negotiations Sunday night. With only one first-round pick, Dallas’ Dez Bryant having signed a contract, the framework for a deal between the Patriots and McCourty has not been put in place. Once again, the uncertainty surrounding the expiring collective bargaining agreement is having a major impact on the negotiations between franchises and their first-round draft selections.
McCourty has been in Foxboro for a couple days now, reports the Boston Herald, and made an appearance along with Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman at Modell’s Sporting Goods in Medford on July 22nd, to sign autographs and pose for pictures with Medford Pop Warner kids. “I’m just happy to help the kids. Pop Warner is where I started, too,” said McCourty, who played with the Valley College Indians in New York. “I remember those days as kind of the classic days of football. Being able to play football for Pop Warner, and then watching (the pros) on TV. That was the main place we tried to emulate everything, just not the celebrations.”
McCourty sounded optimistic that a deal will be struck between his agent Andy Simms, and the New England Patriots front office. “I think it will be done pretty soon so I can move on and start playing football.” McCourty and second-round selection Brandon Spikes, the Patriots remaining unsigned draft picks did not report for rookie camp on Sunday, July 25th.