The New England Patriots traded Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round pick on Wednesday. Gilmore was beloved by players and fans in New England.
Based on the statement head coach and defacto general manager Bill Belichick released after the move, it would appear he held Gilmore in high regard.
Perhaps the feeling was not mutual. Gilmore thanked several aspects of the Patriots organization, including owner Robert Kraft, and the fans, but the former made no specific reference to Belichick. Many believe this was not an accidental, or non-purposeful omission.
Did Stephon Gilmore Purposely Omit Bill Belichick From His Farewell Message?
While some people may get a rise out of creating drama where there is none, there are multiple people who think Gilmore leaving Belichick out of his message has an underlying meaning.
USA Today’s Henry McKenna tweeted:
Jerry Trotta of Musketfire wrote:
Notice how Gilmore wrote personal goodbyes to the Patriots’ fan base, owner Robert Kraft, the organization as a whole AND his teammates. Nothing for Belichick (other than “the coaches”). We hate to make something out of nothing, but we can’t be the only ones who were taken aback by Gilmore’s lack of gratitude for his longtime head coach, right? After all, wasn’t it Belichick who pushed to sign Gilmore when he was an unrestricted free agent back in 2017? While the star DB was an impact player in Buffalo, he didn’t become a household name until his big-money move to New England, where he was a two-time All-Pro and the Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. Call us crazy, but it seems like Gilmore intentionally refrained from mentioning Belichick by name in his goodbye letter. He had to be sending a message to Belichick by listing “coaches,” after “Mr. Kraft.” This divorce was too sudden for this to merely be a coincidence. After all, nearly every report indicated that Gilmore, despite sitting out of mandatory minicamp, enjoyed being a Patriot and wanted to sign a new extension to potentially finish his career with the franchise.
All the signs point to some sort of a rift. Gilmore wouldn’t be the first now ex-Patriots player to have an ax to grind with Belichick. Check the Twitter account of Asante Samuel for reference.
The Patriots Schedule Moving Forward
Mark the calendar for November 7. In Week 9, the Patriots travel to North Carolina to take on the Carolina Panthers. That was originally supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Cam Newton, but we all know how that worked out.
As of now, it could be a revenge game for Gilmore against his former teammates and a head coach he may be a little sour toward.
New England Patriots (1-3) 2021 Regular Season Schedule
- Week 1 – Miami Dolphins 17, New England Patriots 16
- Week 2 – New England Patriots 25, New York Jets 6
- Week 3 – New Orleans Saints 28, New England Patriots 13
- Week 4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19, New England Patriots 17
- Week 5 – at Houston Texans at 1pm ET – CBS – October 10
- Week 6 – Dallas Cowboys at 4:25 pm ET – CBS – October 17
- Week 7 – New York Jets at 1pm ET – CBS – October 24
- Week 8 – at Los Angeles Chargers at 4:05 pm ET – CBS – October 31
- Week 9 – at Carolina Panthers at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 7
- Week 10 – Cleveland Browns at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 14
- Week 11 – at Atlanta Falcons at 8:20 pm ET – FOX/NFL Network/Amazon – November 18
- Week 12 – Tennessee Titans at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 28
- Week 13 – at Buffalo Bills at 8:15 pm ET – ESPN – December 6
- Week 14 – Bye Week
- Week 15 – at Indianapolis Colts Time TBA – December 18
- Week 16 – Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 2
- Week 17 – at Miami Dolphins at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 9
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