Potential Stumbling Block in Stephon Gilmore Contract Talks

Getty Stephon Gilmore

The New England Patriots and Stephon Gilmore still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year was a no-show at OTAs and mini-camp, and there is a major question as to whether he will be present for training camp.

Gilmore is currently set to earn $7 million from his base salary in 2021 before becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

If a new deal isn’t struck, Gilmore is almost certainly going to skip minicamp as well. There is one potential wrinkle that the Patriots may have to consider when deciding whether to sign Gilmore to an extension.

Stephon Gilmore Isn’t Sure If He’ll Be 100% for Training Camp

Gilmore is still recovering from surgery to repair an injured quad, and per a recent report, he isn’t certain the injury will be healed enough for him to participate in training camp.

NFL insider and host of Undefined, Josina Anderson spoke with Gilmore by phone, and the veteran corner shared he may not “be ready 100% for camp.” Here is the text from the last portion of a three-part string of tweets.

S.Gilmore (quad) to me on how he’s doing since offseason surgery: “I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt since the surgery. I’ve been running a lot, building full speed..” On if he’ll be ready 100% for camp: “We’ll see; if I need to be. But I also don’t want to push it.”

Gilmore is 31 years old, which implies he’s already a bit past the prime age for performance for his position. When you also consider he’s coming back from a lower-body injury, there is reason for some trepidation on the Patriots’ side.

They have some potentially strong young cornerbacks in J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and Myles Bryant, but there is no question the unit, the defense, and the entire roster would be stronger with a healthy Gilmore on the field.

Stephon Gilmore: ‘I Just Want What I’m Worth’

In the initial post from Anderson’s string of tweets, Gilmore clarified his position on contract talks with the Patriots.

He said, “I just want what I’m worth.” This is the text from that tweet:

I just got off the phone with #Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore. On his contract situation: “I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out. Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.” He told me he’s not looking to push for a trade

Per Anderson, Gilmore added this second piece:

Hopefully we can find some common ground & get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table & my style of play. Right now I’m just trying to focus on myself & make sure I’m good mentally & physically.

Gilmore isn’t the only top cornerback in the NFL who is unhappy with their current contract. The Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard led the league in interceptions in 2020 and is not satisfied with his $12 million salary heading into the upcoming season.

Alex Barth of 98.5 The Sports Hub, who was responding to a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Michael Silver, suggests the resolution to Howard’s contract situation, who has also been mentioned in trade rumors, may have an impact on what happens with Gilmore in New England.

In any case, all of the chips must fall soon. Patriots training camp starts July 28.


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