Patriots Nearly Traded Their Best Player Before the Season: Report

Getty Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore is untouchable, right? Maybe not.

Would the New England Patriots ever truly consider trading the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and their best player?

The Patriots Were Reportedly Shopping Stephon Gilmore

According to NFL Insider Albert Breer, they tried to before the season, and before the team agreed to give Gilmore a $5 million raise.

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Prior to the Salary Cap Relief, the Patriots Were Looking to Cut Costs

The Patriots got a ton of cap space a month before the season started thanks to COVID-19 opt-outs and settlements on player grievances. Those events pushed the Patriots into a much better financial position.

Prior to that, there was serious concern as to whether the team would have the requisite operating cash for the entire 2020 season. Things took a serious turn over the next few weeks as it appears the team went from potentially shopping Gilmore to rewarding him with more money.

The Patriots may have averted a disaster with their raise for Gilmore. The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams issued massive paydays to Tre’Davious White and Jalen Ramsey, respectively. Their new contracts dwarfed Gilmore’s despite the soon-to-be 30-year-old’s more impressive resume.

Gilmore, who had been limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday, coincidentally the time in which White and Ramsey’s news began to spread. However, Gilmore returned to practice on Friday, which was the same day his $5 million raise was reported. The Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard implied Gilmore’s absence might have had something to do with his displeasure for his salary.

Gilmore is in the fourth of a five-year contract that was paying him an average of $10.5 million per season. The raise takes him to $15.5 million for the 2020 season.

Gilmore Delivered Some Instant Gratification on Sunday

It didn’t take long for the all-world cornerback to remind anyone who might have forgotten how good he is on the football field. He had one of three interceptions against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Foxborough in a 21-11 Week 1 victory.

Perhaps keeping him through his contract is advisable.

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