Source: Pats exercise option on Jason McCourty

The New England Patriots have officially exercised the 2020 option year on cornerback Jason McCourty, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates Thursday.

While McCourty signed a two-year, $11 million contract last offseason, the presence of a $500,000 option bonus to activate the second year of the pact was notable.

If the Patriots elected not to pick up the option, it would have made McCourty a free agent while creating $4 million in salary-cap space. By picking up the option, McCourty can earn a $50,000 workout bonus, $2.65 million base salary, up to $800,000 in roster bonuses ($50,000 per game) and up to $1 million in incentives.

McCourty, who turns 33 in August, is recovering from offseason groin surgery. He opened the 2019 season as a starter opposite All-Pro Stephon Gilmore, with second-year player J.C. Jackson taking over that spot when he was sidelined due to injury.

McCourty has been part of three Super Bowl championship teams with the New England Patriots.

The 2010 first-round draft choice out of Rutgers quickly elevated as a top leader with the Patriots, as he was voted a captain by teammates in just his second season — a role he has continued to have for nine consecutive years.

Lauded by coach Bill Belichick for his intelligence and as a solidifying presence in the secondary, McCourty has missed just five games over 10 seasons in New England, a reflection of his durability and consistency while being tapped to fill multiple roles on defense and special teams.

McCourty, who has played in four Pro Bowls, has 26 interceptions in the regular season, while adding two more in the postseason.

He has been credited with 772 career regular-season tackles, with 86 passes defended, 12 forced fumbles and three sacks. In the playoffs, he amassed 111 tackles and 10 passes defended.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.