Several teams have elected to use the franchise tag so far, but of course, there have still been a few notable players not tagged, and one of them should be a top target for the Colts if he hits the open market.
According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, Adam Schefter, and others, the Patriots have placed the franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski and not McCourty. There is still plenty of time for the two sides to reach a new deal, but it's uncertain, and if he reaches the open market next Tuesday, the Colts should absolutely pursue him.
The Colts need help at the safety position, and that's even with the assumption that the team will reach a deal to bring back Pro Bowler Mike Adams. They'll still have another safety spot to address, and they really need a difference-maker there. Of course, this isn't just unique to the Colts - there are a number of teams who are looking for a very good free safety, and that's what McCourty is.
He was a first round draft pick by the Patriots in 2010 and has spent the last five seasons in New England, originally playing cornerback but transitioning to safety. In fact, at both spots he was an Associated Press All-Pro - at corner in 2010 and at safety in 2013. He was a Pro Bowler in 2010 and has been a part of two AFC Champions and a Super Bowl champion. He has started 77 games over the past five years with New England, recording 388 tackles, one sack, 58 passes defensed, 17 interceptions, and seven forced fumbles. Without a doubt, he is one of the best players in the league at his position.
And that's just what the Colts need. For the past two years, they've had LaRon Landry at safety, who at worst has been terrible and at best has been average. Sergio Brown did a better job in 2014, but he was only a solid player, not a difference-maker. Now, Landry is gone, Brown is set to become a free agent, and the Colts need to look for a starter at safety alongside Adams (assuming, of course, that the veteran safety does return to the Colts like is expected).
A number of fans want the Colts to sign Suh, and that's understandable - he's the best of the free agents this offseason. But he'll command a huge contract, and it's uncertain if he'll even leave Detroit. It's also unknown whether McCourty will leave New England because they'd sure like to keep him, but it's not conceivable for them to be able to retain both Darrelle Revis and Devin McCourty in the secondary. As such, there's a decent chance that McCourty could hit the free agent market, and if he does, the Colts absolutely should pursue him in an effort to sign him.
The Colts could, in the same move, make a huge addition to their defense and add a true difference-maker safety who is among the best in the league while at the same time making a significant dent in the Patriots' defense. When you put it that way, it seems like a no-brainer for the Colts to pursue Devin McCourty if he hits the open market next week.