Why the Patriots Decided to Trade Stephon Gilmore: Report

Getty Stephon Gilmore

The New England Patriots didn’t just trade Stephon Gilmore to add a sixth-round pick in 2023, or even to get rid of a lingering distraction that has been looming over the team since the offseason. There has to be a reason or something logical that explains this deal, right?

As usual, there were financial concerns and one Patriots analyst went into detail describing the team’s primary motive.

Patriots Traded Stephon Gilmore to Make Room for Jamie Collins Reunion

According to NBC Sports Boston’s Albert Breer, the Patriots ultimately decided to deal Gilmore because they needed to clear cap room to bring linebacker Jamie Collins back for a third stint in New England.

Breer said this on Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston’s Early Edition:

That’s absolutely why. 100 percent [the reason the Patriots traded Gilmore]. They needed to create cap space to go and get Jamie Collins. They had plans early in the week to fly him in and they had discussed role with him and everything else, and they needed a corresponding move. So what they did was they picked up the phone and called Stephon Gilmore and they basically discussed the idea of him restructuring (his contract). They want to go sign Jamie Collins, and they go to Steph Gilmore and they say, ‘Will you restructure your deal?’ They weren’t asking for money back, they just said will you restructure your deal. He said, ‘I’ve been asking for a raise from you for the last year, you haven’t done it, so I’m not going to help you unless you help me.’ And that sort of left them where they were, they decided it was time to move on from Steph Gilmore on Tuesday.”

Here is a look at the segment from The Early Edition:

Reaction to the Patriots' decision to trade Stephon Gilmore to the Panthers | NBC Sports BostonAlbert Breer, Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry and Amina Smith join Trenni Kusnierek to break down the timeline that led to the Patriots' deciding to trade Stephon Gilmore to the Panthers, how the desire to re-sign Jamie Collins factored into the decision, and what this means for the Patriots defense, and specifically J.C. Jackson, going…2021-10-06T23:55:26Z

The Patriots Linebackers Are in Need of a Boost

At one point, it appeared the Patriots’ linebacker group might be in good shape. Unfortunately, Dont’a Hightower has looked like a shell of himself this season.

Ja’Whaun Bentley has been bothered by injury, but he was underwhelming in 2020, so it is unclear how much of his ineffectiveness is attributed to injury or if he’s simply hit his ceiling. Jahlani Tavai was a castoff from the Detroit Lions and his lack of speed in Motown has proven to be an issue with the Patriots too.

Also, the team lost Raekwon McMillan to an injury in preseason. He might have added a bit of athleticism to a unit that former Patriots Rodney Harrison and Christian Fauria referred to as slow last week. Collins doesn’t figure to change that too much at this stage of his career. Perhaps his leadership and presence can help open up some opportunities for his teammates.

New England’s pass rush and the play of hybrid safeties like Adrian Phillips and Jalen Mills have helped the defense’s performance overall, but New England’s run defense is ranked 19th in the NFL through four weeks. That needs to change soon. Hopefully, Collins can help create the improvement.


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