Seemingly every former and future teammate of Tom Brady has fielded questions about the signing that shook the offseason.
Devin McCourty certainly fits into that category, but the decade-long Patriot quite simply had other concerns than Brady's free agency this offseason.
After all, McCourty was one of multiple Patriots, such as Brady, who had deals ending in 2019, futures undecided and decisions to be made.
"I honestly didn't think twice about Tom Brady's free agency, because I was a free agent," McCourty told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "That was my main concern, where my family would end up. Would we be back in New England? Then when I signed my deal and I was back, you kind of think of all the guys. Tom, the Kyle Van Noys, the Jamie Collins'. All of those guys you had relationships with, Mathew Slater. That you kinda know, man, this could be it. That coulda been the last game I played with these guys. When he made a decision, to me it wasn't like the end of the world."
Indeed, it's a business. And indeed, the Patriots must move on even as Brady has moved on.
Having celebrated Super Bowls as teammates, McCourty, 32, was pleased for Brady, whose two decades of service in Boston rightfully earned him the chance to forge his own path as his career carries on into the winter of its days.
"He's a free agent and when free agency hits, there's always a chance a guy could go to another team," McCourty said. "I'm happy for him. He played 20 years for one organization. The knowledge he's passed down. How open he has always been with guys learning from him, asking him questions. Always so open. Great teammate. You become a free agent, that's what our league is about. That's what players before us have fought for. Be a free agent and choose. I was happy for him if he did what makes him happy."
All 10 of McCourty's NFL seasons have played out in New England, but his refreshingly honest and frank comments bring into focus that the Patriots will not just look different in 2020 because Brady isn't under center. There is no more Van Noy or Collins or Danny Shelton or Ted Karras or Stephen Gostkowski or James Develin. And, of course as Brady has moved out, a new quarterback will move in. Thus far it would appear to be soon-to-be second-year signal-caller Jarrett Stidham.
"I think he's a young guy who's eager to learn. That quarterback position is always a hard position," McCourty said. "Right away, he worked extremely hard.
"I'm exciting for that quarterback room. I think they're itching. You get an opportunity to go out there and compete, that's what we all want. I think for us as players at other positions, we need to focus on what we have to do. Not fall into the trap of the media, like everybody worried about the quarterback room. We just control what we can control and the rest will take care of itself."