It is beginning to look more and more like Stephon Gilmore will be a member of the New England Patriots in 2021. Despite what looked like a holdout through OTAs and minicamp, to the surprise of some, Gilmore showed up for the first day of veteran’s training camp on Thursday.
Previously, there was a belief Gilmore would not attend training camp as he is unhappy with his current contract.
However, Gilmore showed up on the first day of training camp, thereby avoiding fines for holding out, but he will be placed on the physically unable to perform list while he continues to rehab his injured quad.
Reaction to Gilmore’s Presence at Training Camp
NFL.com’s Mike Giardi reported, via his Twitter account, the specifics of the financial penalty Gilmore was facing had he missed days of training camp.
Stephon Gilmore was facing 50K in fines per day for unexcused training camp absences. He will begin camp on PUP as he continues to recover from the quad injury he suffered late last year. Gilmore has been running and doing football activities for some time. #Patriots
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes Gilmore, who still doesn’t have a new deal, will “take his time” recovering from the quad injury.
“No new contract, but Stephon Gilmore is present in New England. He’ll take his time returning from his injury.”
The Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels might have had the most simplistic, yet accurate take on this as it pertains to the Patriots and their fans.
“Good news for the Patriots. Gilmore skipped OTAs and held out of minicamp.”
There is no question, the Patriots’ defense figures to be stronger with Gilmore on the field, and the fact that he showed up at Gillette Stadium is a major step in the right direction.
A Resolution to the Gilmore Contract Saga Seems Close
One important thing to remember about the PUP list is that a player can be removed from it at any time, and can immediately start practicing once they have been activated.
This means, Gilmore could go from sidelined to on the field participating with his teammates quickly. You’d have to believe that while Gilmore obviously wanted to avoid being fined $50,000 per day for his absence, he still might not have shown up quietly unless he believed there was a good chance he and the organization could find some common ground with his contract.
There are a few potential resolutions to the Gilmore situation. There has always been the potential for a trade, but that doesn’t seem as probable at this point. It seems more likely Gilmore could be given a pay raise for this, the final year on his contract, or an extension for two seasons could do the trick. Although he will want and deserves some guaranteed money for his high level of play since landing with the Patriots in 2017.
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