Report: McCourty to return to Patriots

— -- Having had multiple free-agent defensive backs to begin their offseason, the situation in the New England Patriots' defensive backfield gained a little certainty Sunday when safety Devin McCourty agreed to re-sign with the team, according to a report by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.

The deal is for five years and $47.5 million, with $28.5 million guaranteed, a source told

McCourty confirmed the agreement Sunday night on Comcast SportsNet.

"I'm blessed to say we had other teams that were interested but I said all along that I knew in my heart that I wanted to be back in New England. But I also knew the business side of football, and I had to do what I had to do. I'm back, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't possibilities over the last two days that I was going to be somewhere else. I'm happy it all worked out."

A first-round draft choice of the Patriots in 2010, selected 27th overall out of Rutgers, McCourty is a four-time team captain who quickly became one of the team's foundation players after signing a five-year, $10 million pact as a rookie.

McCourty, who turns 28 on Aug. 13, emerged as one of the NFL's best safeties despite entering the league as a cornerback. He made an in-season switch to safety in 2012, in part because of the team's struggles defending the big play that year, and has mostly played there since.

The combination of McCourty entering his prime years and ability to play both cornerback and safety made him one of the more highly sought-after free-agents on the market this year. He's been durable, missing only three games over the first five years of his career, as well as productive (72 tackles, two interceptions, six passes defended in 2014).

Speaking at a community appearance in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Feb. 25, McCourty had expressed his desire to remain in New England.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.