The recruitment of NFL stars by their peers has become a big thing over the past few years, and the Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins hasn’t shied away from the trend.
No one can ever accuse him of trying to hog the spotlight, the all-world receiver clearly wants the best players in the league in Arizona. His most recent target is New England Patriots disgruntled cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Hopkins is anything but shy and he knows Gilmore’s value, and wants him on his side.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is reportedly unhappy with his contract that is set to pay him $7 million for the 2021 season before becoming a free agent heading into 2022.
Gilmore didn’t attend his team’s OTAs or the mandatory mini-camp that followed. With Gilmore’s situation a hot topic on the NFL Twitter and Instagram scene, Hopkins took the opportunity to solicit some love for Gilmore from the Cardinals faithful. Take a look at the image and caption he posted on his Instagram account.
He shows himself and Gilmore battling each other with the caption: “@uberfacts Best corner in the game from South Carolina @bumpnrungilmore , let him know it’s love Red Sea!”
The tweet generated a response from several notable followers of his account. Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant recognized the South Carolina live and replied:
“South Carolina Shii 🦍”
Los Angeles Rams corner Jalen Ramsey wasn’t feeling Hopkins referring to Gilmore as the game’s best corner, because he obviously sees himself as that guy. He replied: “Don’t start this D-Hop,” but the reply was later removed.
Hopkins’ efforts might be in vain–at least for now. Gilmore isn’t a free agent, so the only way he can switch teams is if he’s traded. If that is the scenario, there is no recruitment that will impact the situation.
I guess it is still great to be wanted.
Bill Belichick Addressed Stephon Gilmore’s Situation
During a meeting with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if he expected Gilmore to be present for camp. As usual, Belichick kept his answer short with his signature deflection.
“I don’t expect him to be here, and we’ll just focus on the guys that are here.”
Gilmore suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 15 of the 2020 campaign. He could still be rehabbing the injury, but it is believed his absence is due to his unhappiness with his current contract.
The Patriots Defense Can Still Be Good Without Gilmore, But What About Great?
New England has great depth on the defensive line and throughout its talented group of linebackers. Unfortunately, they don’t have the depth in the secondary.
Jason McCourty signed with the Miami Dolphins. J.C. Jackson returns, but there are some questions about how he would perform if pressed into the CB1 role full time. Behind him there is the newly acquired Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Myles Bryant, Dee Virgin and Michael Jackson.
That’s not a group that figures to strike fear in the hearts of receivers and quarterbacks. Still, with such strong play a good possibility from the front seven, the Patriots’ defense could still be strong. However, to be great–which is an attainable goal for this group–they are going to need to bring Gilmore back.
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