Stephon Gilmore is in Foxboro, and it’s not to continue to rehab the injury that ended his 2020 season. There appears to be hope a resolution is in reach for his contract situation, and it could lead to the former Defensive Player of the Year getting a contract extension from the New England Patriots.
NFL Network’s Mike Giardi tweeted:
“Stephon Gilmore is in town but not to get any sort of physical checkup for the team. I’m told his quad has not restricted his workouts for some time now.”
ESPN’s Patriots insider Mike Reiss sounded optimistic in his most-recent report on Gilmore’s situation.
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn’t report to mandatory minicamp, and while some holdouts can become acrimonious, my sense on Gilmore’s mindset is different. He seems to enjoy being a Patriot, is open to sticking around, and this was his least-expensive-but-most-decisive way of sparking more productive contract talks with the team, so he can feel better about being part of New England’s present and future.
With Gilmore not publicly asking to be traded, you’d have to think he wants to remain in New England–at least for now.
Belichick Hasn’t Given Much Info on Gilmore’s Situation
As usual, Bill Belichick hasn’t offered much info on Gilmore’s situation. However, he did say that he didn’t expect Gilmore to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp.
We now know it was a full-fledged holdout from Gilmore because Giardi’s report indicates the all-world cornerback wasn’t still rehabbing an injury. Without a question, resolving the Gilmore situation has to be the team’s top player-personnel priority ahead of training camp.
The Possibility of a Gilmore Trade
Patriots fans might not want to consider this possibility, but the Gilmore saga could end in a trade.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer discussed the possibilities of a Gilmore trade, and he likened the 31-year-old star’s situation to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Darius Slay.
Gilmore will turn 31 in September. He’s a great player. But I’m not sure a guy his age has ever, in 101 years of NFL football, fetched a first-round pick in a trade without being the guy with the ball in his hands on every offensive snap. It just doesn’t happen. That makes the value proposition for the Patriots clear: Do you keep one of the best players in football? Or deal him off for, say, what Darius Slay got for Detroit (third- and fifth-round picks)? That brings us to the next complication, which is the money. Slay’s new contract with the Eagles (three years, $50.5 million) was signed with Slay at about a year younger than Gilmore was, and as the third contract of Slay’s career, which is what Gilmore is pursuing now. It’s a credit to both that their value held that deep into their time as NFL corners. But history would tell you it won’t last a whole lot longer.
At this point, I’d still bet more on Gilmore coming to an agreement to return to the Patriots with an extension that protects him for at least two more years while also offering a raise.