Stephon Gilmore has been a top performer for the New England Patriots for a while. He’s the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a perennial Pro-Bowler, and even EA made him one of five 99-overall-rated players in Madden 21.
After watching several lesser-regarded players at his position get huge financial rewards, the Patriots gave Gilmore a significant raise on his annual salary on Friday. In 2020, Gilmore will make $15.5 million, which is up from $10.5 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Patriots gave reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore a significant raise for this season today, bumping his salary from $10.5 million to $15.5M with chance to earn up to $17.5M in incentives even as he has two years left on his contract, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2020
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Gilmore’s former team, the Buffalo Bills awarded their current shutdown corner, Tre’Davious White with a whopping new deal that will pay the 25-year-old a beautiful average of $17.5 million per season.
The Los Angeles Rams followed that up by delivering standout cornerback Jalen Ramsey a deal that will average an even prettier $21 million per season. Statistically, and from an accomplishment standpoint, Gilmore would seemingly be superior to both players, and his DPOTY award helps to validate that concept.
Because of this, it only makes sense that he would get a raise. Even with the $5 million raise, he still isn’t averaging per year what White and Ramsey are receiving. Thus, the Patriots’ work may not be done as it pertains to appeasing Gilmore.
Perhaps, this is the thing that will lead to an eventual separation between the soon-to-be 30-year-old and the Patriots.
How Long Will Gilmore Be Locked in With the Patriots?
Gilmore is in the fourth year of a five-year contract worth $65 million, so there is one year remaining on the deal. When he signed it, he was among the highest-paid players at his position, but as you can see from the numbers White and Ramsey have received, things have escalated quickly. Gilmore can earn as much as $17.5 million if he reaches all of the incentives on the deal.
Gilmore doesn’t appear to be the type to hold out, but perhaps the Patriots were nipping something in the bud before it became an issue. The question now will be if the Patriots will sign Gilmore to another deal after next season, or if they will extend him this offseason to keep him off the free-agent market at the end of the 2021 campaign. Remember, he will be 32 by the time the 2022 season begins.
They could use the franchise tag on him at the end of that season as they did with Joe Thuney this year, but when you look at where salaries are headed for cornerbacks in the NFL, that total could potentially be astronomical. Both sides seem to be satisfied for the time being, but this is a situation to keep an eye on moving forward.
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