Before the early afternoon games on Sunday, the Patriots were mentioned as trade deadline buyers. A few hours later, they were clobbered by the 49ers, a sobering defeat that dropped them to 2-4 and made their deadline plans difficult to predict.
There is plenty of speculation that, if New England falls to the Bills this weekend, the Pats will look to trade away some veteran assets in exchange for draft capital. And perhaps the biggest name that could be available in a deal is star cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The Pats reportedly shopped Gilmore before this year’s draft and during training camp, but then they gave the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year what was called a pay raise in September. As Albert Breer of SI.com writes, however, the team actually just moved $4.5MM from Gilmore’s 2021 salary to his 2020 pay. That indicated to other clubs that 2020 was going to be Gilmore’s last year in Foxborough, and if the Patriots do indeed lose to Buffalo, they should expect their phones to start ringing off the hook. According to Breer, they have already told teams that they would be willing to listen to offers for almost anyone currently on the roster.
That said, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has not heard of any new developments on the Gilmore front (via Ricky Doyle of NESN.com). While that could certainly change at any time, there is nothing imminent just yet. Plus, talks could be complicated by the knee injury that has put Gilmore’s availability for this weekend’s divisional battle in doubt.
In addition to the high-level draft picks that a Gilmore trade would entail, the acquiring team must also be prepared to pony up a massive extension soon. Gilmore’s contract runs through the 2021 campaign, and even though he is not performing at the same level this year as he was in 2019, he will surely demand a top-of-the-market contract this offseason.
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