In a shocking move, the New England Patriots have decided to part ways with All-Pro and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. The Pats are always full of surprises, but few could have predicted this. Per Adam Schefter:
A stunner: Patriots are releasing four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform List after Week 6, source tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/31H8KQF8hq— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 6, 2021
Gilmore has reportedly been unhappy with his contract, and apparently he and the organization have been unable to find much middle ground, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. The tenth overall selection by the Buffalo Bills in 2012, the team picked up his fifth year option but ultimately declined to sign him long term at the end of his rookie contract. In turn, he signed with the infamous division rivals and went on to win a ring in Super Bowl LIII. After intercepting 10 passes and defending 49 others over the course of his first three seasons in Foxborough — including his stellar 2019 that saw him pick six passes and score two touchdowns en route to his third Pro Bowl/second All-Pro/first DPOY — things cooled off in 2020. The talented defensive back only defended three passes and intercepted one while recording his worst PFF grades since his second season as a pro. Now 32 years old, Gilmore has been on the PUP list to start the season while recovering from a Quadriceps injury, though he is eligible to return for Week 6.
According to Mike Giardi of the NFL Network, this move may precipitate a trade prior to 4:00 PM ET.
I'm told Gilmore is disappointed something couldn't be accomplished to allow him to stay. He has enjoyed his time in NE. Also don't rule out the possibility of a trade before 4 o'clock. In getting this news out early, that remains a possibility. #Patriots— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 6, 2021
Gilmore is certain to be a hot name for cornerback needy teams (whoever that might be...), however his salary demands could be prohibitive.
My understanding is that SFA CB Stephon Gilmore who was set to earn $7M in base salary this season is looking to earn at least $15M a year on the open market now. There are several teams that can look to bolster their secondary with attrition already kicking in by week 5. https://t.co/ndlhoWFLjC— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 6, 2021
Field Gulls will work to keep readers updated as this story continues to develop.