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Devin McCourty, Patriots begin contract talks

Devin McCourty's transition from cornerback to safety has been so successful that the Patriots are ready to reward him with a second contract in New England.

The Pats have reached out to jumpstart contract talks in the final year of McCourty's rookie deal, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Friday.

McCourty has missed just three starts in four seasons. He was Pro Football Focus' top-ranked safety last season.

Although no safety can match Earl Thomas' coverage capabilities, McCourty is right there with Jairus Byrd at the next level. Should McCourty and the Pats reach an agreement, we suspect it will come in just below Byrd's six-year, $54 million contract with $26 million in guarantees.

With McCourty excelling, Darrelle Revis possibly recapturing "Revis Island" form and Duron Harmon emerging as a viable strong safety, the Patriots' secondary should be among the league's stingiest in 2014.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the best receiver group in the NFL, and goes deep previewing the season with Bucky Brooks.

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