Stephon Gilmore‘s top two suitors look to be in the AFC West, a division that has seen a few impact defenders arrive over the past two weeks. While the Raiders are eyeing the former Defensive Player of the Year, the Chiefs are as well.
The Chiefs have joined the Raiders in discussing a deal with Gilmore, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com notes. The Raiders were connected to Gilmore early in free agency and have ex-Patriot staffers Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels running the team, but the veteran cornerback has options.
Gilmore, 31, being patient is unsurprising here, given his quest to see a pay raise during the second half of his Patriots tenure. Gilmore voiced frustration about his Pats contract — a five-year, $65MM deal that became wildly team-friendly as the market moved — in 2020 and 2021, leading to a pay bump for the ’20 season and a trade to the Panthers the following year. Leading up to free agency, Carolina had not closed the door on a Gilmore re-signing. But the team prioritized Donte Jackson, who has since signed an extension.
A Gilmore-Kansas City addition would give the Chiefs additional ammo in an AFC West that has seen defenders Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, Randy Gregory, D.J. Jones, Sebastian Joseph-Day and ex-Gilmore sidekick J.C. Jackson join the Chiefs’ rivals. The Chiefs lost Charvarius Ward to a $14MM-per-year 49ers deal and saw contributor Mike Hughes sign with the Lions. While Kansas City signed Justin Reid, it looks to come at the expense of a Tyrann Mathieu exit. The Chiefs still have L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton at corner, but the team is eyeing veterans.
A James Bradberry trade remains on the Chiefs’ radar, Wilson adds. The Giants are looking to move Bradberry, but he is going into a contract year on a $13.4MM salary. That has limited his trade appeal thus far. Kansas City has not spent much on cornerbacks in recent years, but its Tyreek Hill trade has freed up some cash. The defending division champs went to work immediately after dealing Hill, signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jermaine Carter over the past two days.