Weeks later, McCourty provided a definitive response during a Thursday night guest appearance on the Sports Spectrum Podcast.
"Yeah, I'm going to play," McCourty said.
The time off provided McCourty, who turns 32 on Aug. 13, an opportunity to reflect and make an informed decision on his immediate future based on his continued passion for the game of football.
"At that point, that was Media Night when Deion said that to me, and it's like, yeah, man, if we won a Super Bowl, I don't know what else could top that," he said. "I think in that moment I kind of forgot that I don't play this game just to win Super Bowls.
"There's so much more that comes from me playing the game that I love. I think once you get a chance to step away for a couple weeks, you're like, yeah, I still do want to be around these other young guys that come in."
The veteran safety is durable and reliable, starting all 16 games in 2018 for a third consecutive season. He totaled 82 tackles, four passes defensed and an interception returned for a touchdown the past season.