The Stephon Gilmore trade talk isn’t going away–at least not until he is moved, or signs an extension with the New England Patriots. If he is traded, the framework for the deal has likely already been established.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated has been discussing a potential Gilmore trade for the past few weeks. Some may believe Gilmore’s star status means he’s draw a first-round pick from a corner-needy team.
That’s unlikely as most, including Breer don’t see Gilmore being worth a first-round pick.
In a recent edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, Breer laid out the dynamics surrounding a deal, and he pointed to what the Detroit Lions were able to acquire from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for 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.
As Breer acknowledges at another point in his article, Gilmore is a better player than Slay, so the Patriots could potentially get more for him. Still, the package of a third and fifth-round pick is probably a good starting point for the trade talks.
Gilmore Should Be Able to Bring Back a Third and a Fourth
If Slay got the Lions a third and a fifth-rounder, it is logical for the Patriots to expect a slightly better offer in return for Gilmore.
After all, Gilmore won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2019, and he still made the Pro Bowl in 2020. He did finish last season injured, but there is no reason to believe he won’t be 100 percent by the time the regular season begins.
At 30 years old, he is still young enough to play at a high level for two or even three more years if he can stay healthy.
Trade Talk Aside, the Patriots Should Re-Sign Gilmore
I know we’re talking a lot about trades for Gilmore, and that is a realistic outcome to this situation. However, based on the moves Bill Belichick and Co. pulled off this offseason, it appears the Patriots are in win-now mode.
They have put pieces in place to ensure they can be competitive down the road, like drafting Mac Jones with the No. 15 pick. Still, Belichick wouldn’t have grabbed two elite tight ends, stockpiled the front seven and brought back Cam Newton if he wasn’t going to try to make noise in 2021.
Gilmore is still one of the best corners in the league. With him, the Patriots have a potentially strong secondary. Without him anchoring things, it could get a little dicey. The defensive line and linebackers look so strong on paper that New England might have a Super-Bowl-caliber defense with Gilmore on the roster.
Without him, they could still be strong, but I say that with much less confidence. Signing Gilmore to a two-year extension for $35 million, or three years $52 million is the right thing to do for the team, and a player who has contributed to a Super Bowl winning team.
- Patriots Veteran Called ‘a Lock’ to Make 53-Man Roster
- Young Patriots QB Placed on ‘Bubble Watch’ for Final Roster Cuts
- Patriots Former First-Round Pick Cut in Bold Roster Prediction
- ‘Expendable’ Young Patriots LB In Danger of Being Cut: Report
- Patriots Release Former Second-Round Pick