The New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually a man of few words. On Wednesday, he was asked about the rumors swirling around the availability of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.
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Belichick Speaks on the Gilmore Rumors
Predictably, Belichick denied knowing anything about the Gilmore trade rumors, which is pretty tough to believe.
Here is the question Belichick was asked during a Wednesday morning live conference:
“So there’s this report out there that the Patriots are essentially talking to other teams about trading Stephon Gilmore, and I just wanted to ask you if you anticipate having Steph on your roster past the trade deadline.”
This was his exact response:
“I don’t know anything about those.”
Rumors are swirling about the top player on his defense and he knows nothing about it? Highly unlikely.
Belichick Praises Gilmore
While Belichick wasn’t willing to discuss anything about trade rumors involving Gilmore, he did take the opportunity to talk him up with the media. Belichick was asked to discuss Gilmore’s performance thus far this season, and he said:
Great. Great. Steph works hard. He’s always ready to go. Changes up what he does based on our game plan, who we’re matched up against, the team we’re playing that particular week. He’s a very flexible player that understands what we’re trying to do and how it all fits together and works hard to do his part in it.
Obviously, Pro Football Focus has their own evaluation table, but it might differ a bit from Belichick’s assessment. According to PFF, Gilmore is currently ranked just 50th in the league at his position, so far this season.
Meanwhile, teammates J.C. Jackson (third) and Jonathon Jones (38th) are both ranked ahead of him. The play of Jackson and Jones makes it easy to see why Gilmore might well be available to a team willing to trade a first-round pick for his services.
No One on the Roster is Untouchable: Report
If Gilmore is available, as I believe he is, there is likely no one on the team who couldn’t be had for the right price. The closest thing to that might be rookies Michael Onwenu who has been stellar thus far this season and has the look of someone who could develop into a Pro-Bowler, and fellow rookie Kyle Dugger.
He seems to only be scratching the surface of his abilities.
Sunday is the Biggest Game of the Season
The game on Sunday against the rival Buffalo Bills is a must-win. The Patriots cannot afford to drop to 2-5 on the season. It would likely end any realistic playoff chances.
If the team loses and hasn’t traded away any of its valuable assets that are expendable like Gilmore or even O-lineman Joe Thuney, they will have squandered opportunities to jumpstart the inevitable rebuild. If the Patriots win, they still have solid hope of winning the AFC East and going back to the postseason.
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