Packers Could Still Sign $20 Million Defensive Player of the Year

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore could be a veteran free agent pickup by the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have been uncharacteristically active in free agency, but the team could still take another swing on a veteran in Stephon Gilmore, the 33-year-old cornerback.

Cem Yolbulan with Dairyland Express gave out a few free agent options who are still available that would make sense for the Packers. All of the players mentioned were coincidentally Super Bowl champions, including offensive tackle Donovan Smith and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

The most notable free agent that Yolbulan mentioned was Gilmore, stating how a short-term deal could be beneficial for both parties.

“A one-year veteran signing would do wonders for this team on the opposite side of Alexander,” Yolbulan wrote. “And Stephon Gilmore might be the best option available right now.”

The Packers Nearly Traded For Stephon Gilmore

Gilmore may seem like a surprising free agent target for some Packers fans, but it wasn’t that long ago that general manager Brian Gutekunst tried to take a swing on the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.

After rumors of him being released by the New England Patriots in 2021, Gilmore expressed that he wanted to play for the Packers. Unfortunately, due to salary cap constraints, the Packers were unable to get a deal done, resulting in the Carolina Panthers trading a sixth-round pick for the star cornerback.

Gilmore has bounced around the league since that trade. He played just one season with the Panthers before signing on with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022, only to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys a year later.

Now, Gilmore is a free agent once again, but has yet to find a team despite free agency being open for nearly a month. His resume includes a Super Bowl ring, two first-team All-Pro selections, five Pro Bowl appearances, and Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019 after leading the league with six interceptions and 20 pass breakups.

At 33 years old, Gilmore’s best football is likely behind him. However, he could still be a veteran leader in a locker room that is filled with youth and inexperience (outside of Jaire Alexander) at the cornerback position.

Other Cornerback Options for Green Bay

The Packers could go after a veteran like Gilmore, but continuing the youth movement on both sides of the ball could be the better long-term play.

General manager Brian Gutekunst has focused on Green Bay’s secondary this offseason. Along with re-signing Keisean Nixon as a slot corner and return specialist, the Packers made one of their biggest free agent splashes in years by signing Xavier McKinney to a four-year, $68 million deal.

However, the Packers don’t seem to be done there. The team has scheduled multiple top-30 visits with cornerback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. Names include Florida State slot corner Jerrian Jones and Maryland defensive back Ja’Quan Sheppard.

Mock drafts are also high on the Packers taking a cornerback prospect as early as the first round. Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean continues to be one of the top players mocked to the Packers with the 25th overall pick in this year’s draft.

If the Packers don’t end up drafting a corner, a veteran like Gilmore could still make a lot of sense.

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