Now that Tyrod Taylor‘s deal is out of the way, the Bills are now focusing on working out an extension with star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, GM Doug Whaley says (via Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com). The two sides were in talks earlier this offseason, but discussions broke off with a significant gap to bridge.
“It allows us to put all of our focus on Stephon Gilmore,” Whaley said. “It gives us a chance to say we have one piece of the puzzle done. Let’s try to get another piece of the puzzle done. Let’s not forget the fact that we have high profile players and they’re going to command top dollars. So we’re going to have to try our best to get them done. Will we get it done? We hope so, but it’s going to be process just like Tyrod’s contract.”
With the salary cap on the rise, Gilmore has a case to approach Josh Norman’s deal – especially given that he’s three years younger. Gilmore, who’s due $11.082MM in his fifth-year option season, reportedly wants a deal in that neighborhood (five years, $75MM) and there’s a pretty good case to be made for that. Still, the Bills are reluctant to go match those numbers as Norman is among the league’s top two corners in average annual value ($15MM, first), total guarantees ($50MM, first) and guaranteed money at signing ($36.5MM, second).
Last year, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked Gilmore as the No. 9 cornerback in the NFL among 111 qualifying corners. If the Bills and Gilmore aren’t able to reach an agreement between now and next March, the franchise tag could be in play. That would probably cost Buffalo upwards of $14MM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.