Stephon Gilmore

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Jalen Ramsey, Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White signed extensions last year to move a long-stagnant cornerback market. This will undoubtedly affect the Patriots, who employ the only active cornerback to earn Defensive Player of the Year acclaim.

The Patriots discussed Stephon Gilmore in trades last year, doing so around draft time and before the trade deadline, but held onto him. The Pats sought a first-round pick for their standout corner, but Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes no one offered such compensation (subscription required) and a trade never became a realistic possibility.

Gilmore is heading into the final year of his deal. While the Patriots gave him a substantial pay raise for last season, the 30-year-old defender is due just a $7MM base salary in 2021. A 2019 restructure also elevated Gilmore’s 2021 cap charge to $16.3MM. Gilmore and the Patriots are expected to discuss his contract soon, Howe adds. While the Pats have more cap space (nearly $63MM) than almost every other team, they also have young corners who have played well and have never been shy about dealing high-profile talent under Bill Belichick.

After a five-year Bills run, Gilmore signed a five-year Patriots deal worth $65MM in 2017. He became the top cover man on two Super Bowl teams and claimed the Defensive Player of the Year award after a dominant 2019 campaign. The former first-round pick missed time last season due to a COVID-19 contraction and a season-ending injury. His coverage numbers slipped a bit from 2019, and Pro Football Focus slotted him 61st among corners last season. Ramsey, Humphrey and White all secured extensions worth north of $17MM per season, changing a market that had been stuck for several years.

Gilmore would still fetch the Pats something of value, were they to trade him. A second-round pick seems like the best realistic haul, per Howe. The upcoming talks between Gilmore and the Patriots will be interesting, given the team’s reliance on its defense after its offense’s significant decline over the past two years.

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Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore Done For Season

The Patriots will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and they will enter 2021 with question marks all over their roster, including quarterback. Star cornerback Stephon Gilmore‘s future in New England is also in some doubt.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter), Gilmore suffered a partially torn quad in the Pats’ loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. Luckily, there was no structural damage, and he should be recovered from surgery in sufficient time to participate in least some of the offseason program in the spring.

Whether he will be with the Patriots in the spring, however, is a different story. He pulled down Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019, but 2020 was definitely a step back. He will have played in just 11 games this season due to injury, and Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics considered him the 59th-best CB in the league out of 124 qualified players. He did earn the fourth Pro Bowl of his career, but that was likely due to name recognition more than anything else.

Still, he will be in pursuit of a hefty contract extension this offseason. He is under club control through 2021, but after New England moved some of his 2021 salary to 2020, he is due just $7MM in base pay in 2021. Given his track record, he will doubtlessly shoot for the top of the CB market, which is currently headed by Jalen Ramsey‘s five year, $105MM pact ($71.2MM guaranteed at signing). Gilmore is four years older than Ramsey, so he might not reach those lofty numbers, but he will be in line for a significant raise.

That is perhaps why New England reportedly considered a Gilmore trade before this year’s deadline (the team also shopped him prior to the 2020 draft). Obviously, no rival club was willing to meet the Patriots’ high asking price, and as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, the expectation is that the two sides will again discuss an extension this offseason. But depending on how those negotiations go, it would seem that a trade remains a real possibility.

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AFC East Notes: Patriots, Newton, Jets

Midway through an up-and-down year with the Patriots, does Cam Newton want to return in 2021? The quarterback claims that he hasn’t given it much thought.

Man, I have interest in winning the Arizona Cardinals game. How about that?” Newton told WEEI (via NBC Sports). “There are so many things that — I don’t want to even harp, dwell, or even think – as the Bible says, my cup runneth over. Just trying to focus on the near future rather than the far future.”

Newton has led the Pats to wins over the Dolphins, Raiders, and Ravens this year, but he also has seven interceptions across nine games. All in all, he’s 4-5 as the Patriots’ starter. The Patriots haven’t missed the playoffs since 2008, and they’ll be in rough shape if Newton can’t deliver against the Cardinals this weekend.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots had Stephon Gilmore back on the field against the Texans. The reason for his three-game absence? Gilmore says his knee injury occurred was caused by a collision in practice (via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss). Fortunately, it looks like he’s healed up significantly, though his presence wasn’t enough for the Pats to win on Sunday.
  • The Jets are expected to do some defensive demolition this offseason, according to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. In fact, GM Joe Douglas could wind up with seven new starters — safeties Marcus Maye and Bradley McDougald; cornerbacks Pierre Desir and Brian Poole; and linebackers Tarell Basham, Jordan Jenkins, and Neville Hewitt are all ticketed for free agency. Maye is the best of the bunch, but the Jets have flirted with trading him in the past. Defensive lineman Henry Anderson is also on the chopping block, thanks to his $9.5MM cap figure for 2021.
  • Douglas will be in charge of the roster, but it’s not clear whether owner Woody Johnson or CEO Christopher Johnson will be running the show. As Cimini notes, Woody may be free to return from his ambassador role in January.
  • The Dolphins benched Tua Tagovailoa against the Broncos, but the star rookie will continue to start ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

AFC East Notes: Gilmore, Pats, Tua, Jets

Although the Patriots shopped Stephon Gilmore this spring, they hung onto him at the trade deadline after setting a high price for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. When asked if the Patriots entertained offers for Gilmore, Bill Belichick said he was not aware of that occurring. The Pats gave Gilmore a $5MM pay bump this year but will face a decision on the standout cornerback in 2021. That will be the final season of Gilmore’s five-year, $65MM deal. With Jalen Ramsey and Marlon Humphrey each securing extensions worth north of $19MM per year, thus blowing the lid off a long-stagnant corner market, Gilmore will understandably want to cash in while still in his prime. His potential new contract affected his trade market, Tom Curran of NBC Sports notes. Gilmore will turn 31 just after the start of next season.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Dolphins‘ trove of draft picks in 2021 appears to have affected their decision to move Tua Tagovailoa into their starting lineup now, creating an audition of sorts ahead of what looks like a strong quarterback draft. However, owner Stephen Ross was not behind the decision to insert Tagovailoa into the starting lineup, per the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero. With Ross a major supporter of the quarterback the Dolphins were eyeing for more than a year before this year’s draft, it would certainly be interesting if the team continues to be linked to a potential first-round QB pick ahead of the 2021 draft.
  • With their 0-8 record at the bottom of the league, the Jets will continue to be linked to 2021 QB prospects — namely Trevor Lawrence. Their 2018 first-round draftee’s status will move the Jets closer to the Clemson quarterback. Sam Darnold is now unlikely to play against the Patriots, after suffering a shoulder setback against the Chiefs. Adam Gase said Friday that Darnold told him he was not throwing as well as he hoped, and the Jets on Saturday downgraded their starter to doubtful for Monday’s game. Joe Flacco is in line to receive a third start as a Jet.
  • More trouble for the AFC’s New York franchise. Jets players and their agents alerted the NFLPA recently about cameras existing in the team’s locker room, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Specifically, the NFLPA contacted the NFL about surveillance equipment being hidden in smoke detectors in the Jets locker room, Mehta adds. The league indicated cameras have existed in and around the team’s locker room since 2008 and that the players were aware of them. Per several anonymous current and former players, via Mehta, that does not appear to be the case. No consent form permitting cameras is believed to have been signed, and Mehta adds the NFLPA is “troubled” by the Jets unilaterally placing cameras in the locker room.

Patriots Set High Asking Price For Stephon Gilmore

The Patriots want a first round pick and a player in exchange for star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, according to rival GMs who spoke with ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter). Teams have until 4pm ET/3pm CT on Tuesday afternoon to try and pry him loose. 

[RELATED: Patriots DT Beau Allen Won’t Play In 2020]

Rumors have been swirling about the Patriots and their possible willingness to trade the 2019 AP Defensive Player of the Year. But, from the sound of it, the Patriots aren’t overly eager to part with him.

Gilmore is under club control through 2021 and will be seeking a lucrative extension. At the time of signing, Gilmore’s five-year, $65MM deal ($31MM guaranteed) made him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history. Since then, the market has shifted dramatically. Earlier this year, as Gilmore’s average annual salary slotted him outside the top 10 for CBs, the Patriots moved some money around to give him a ~$5MM “pay raise”.

This offseason, it’ll take much more than that to keep Gilmore for the long haul. The Patriots recognize that, which is why they’re willing to take calls on the star corner between now and the buzzer. Plenty of contenders would love to add Gilmore and would be willing to give him a new deal in the offseason, but it’ll cost ’em significant draft capital.

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Patriots Notes: Gilmore, Newton, Edelman

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually tight-lipped when it comes to, well, just about everything, but he was quite candid in discussing his team’s struggles this season. The 2-4 Pats are in the midst of their first three-game losing streak since 2002, and Belichick suggested that one of his club’s goals in 2020 was to get right with the salary cap after years of heavy investments.

“This is kind of the year that we’ve taken to, I would say, adjust our cap from the spending that we’ve had in accumulation of prior years,” Belichick said (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com). “We just haven’t been able to have the kind of depth on our roster that we’ve had in some other years.”

In addition to their league-leading eight COVID-19 opt-outs, the Pats are carrying about $26MM of dead cap charges this season, and as Reiss indicated back in March, the club’s financial picture in 2021 is much brighter. New England may be taking its lumps in 2020, but it is still lurking in the AFC East and is eyeing a major rebound next year.

Now for more out of Foxborough:

  • Stephon Gilmore‘s name has come up in trade rumors, but Reiss says the Pats are not actively shopping their star corner, which is consistent with what we heard several days ago. However, the ESPN scribe suggests that Belichick could be willing to listen if a rival club were to offer a first- or second-round draft choice. Assuming that does not happen, then Gilmore is likely to finish out the season with New England. The two sides would need to address his contract situation at that point, as Gilmore is under club control through 2021 and will be seeking a healthy extension.
  • As of this writing, the Patriots have not done much to suggest that they will be sellers at this week’s trade deadline, but if they fall to the division-rival Bills today, that could change, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms.
  • QB Cam Newton was benched in a blowout loss to the 49ers last week, and though the time he missed due to COVID-19 certainly could explain his recent struggles, the Pats are still alarmed by the number of mistakes he’s making, per Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (video link). While Newton’s job is not in imminent danger, he could lose the starting gig if he does not turn it around soon.
  • New England’s WR depth chart, which is already quite thin, took another hit when Julian Edelman was placed on IR with a knee injury. Belichick said he expects the veteran pass catcher to be back this season, but several people close to Edelman have their doubts, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Edelman’s knee has been bothering him for awhile, and although his recent surgery helped alleviate some discomfort, the knee is still bone-on-bone. The Pats could save $4MM against the cap by moving on from the 34-year-old at season’s end, and one wonders if he might have played his last game for New England.
  • In an effort to bolster their WR group, the Pats plan to have veteran wideout Donte Moncrief come in for a workout, per Reiss (via Twitter). The former third-rounder has generally struggled to live up to expectations in his career, and he was recently released off the Jets’ practice squad. Given Gang Green’s own receiver issues, that’s not a good sign, but Moncrief is only 27 and still possesses plenty of physical tools.
  • In addition to Moncrief, the Pats are also bringing in fellow WR Darius Jennings and DT Ryan Glasgow, according to Reiss. Albert Breer of SI.com says the team recently hosted FB Roosevelt Nix (Twitter link).

Patriots To Place Julian Edelman On IR

The Patriots will not have their top pass catcher or defender available against the Bills. While the team traveled to Buffalo without Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman will land on IR Saturday.

Edelman has run into knee trouble and underwent surgery this week. While Edelman will be out for at least three weeks — perhaps longer — Bill Belichick expects him to return this season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

New England’s already limited passing attack will be down N’Keal Harry as well, creating one of the thinnest Patriot receiving crews in Belichick’s 21-year tenure. Edelman, who posted a career-high 1,117 receiving yards last season, leads the Pats with 315 this year. However, 179 of those came in Week 2 against what turned out to be a bottom-end Seahawks defense. Harry has 19 receptions for 172 yards. Damiere Byrd — the only non-Edelman Patriot with more than 200 receiving yards this season — and Jakobi Meyers are in line to be Cam Newton‘s top receivers against the Bills.

Gilmore suffered a knee injury in practice this week. Although the reigning defensive player of the year contracted the coronavirus, this will be his first missed game this season. Gilmore has not missed any time since the 2017 season.

This injury comes at an interesting time for the former Bills first-round pick. Gilmore landed in trade rumors during draft time and before training camp, and with the Patriots at 2-4 and not looking like a Super Bowl contender for the first time in over a decade, the 30-year-old stalwart’s name has come up again. The Pats gave Gilmore a raise ahead of this season, but considering where the cornerback market has gone, the premier boundary defender will likely push for a new deal in 2021. For what it’s worth, Gilmore rumors did not point to a pre-deadline trade prior to this injury news surfacing.

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Patriots Unlikely To Trade Stephon Gilmore?

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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Stephon Gilmore Returns To Practice

The Patriots are set to have both Cam Newton and their top defender back Sunday when they host the Broncos. Stephon Gilmore was back at Pats practice Thursday, having returned from his stay on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

Newton and Gilmore each tested positive for the coronavirus, and these results led to the NFL postponing Week 5’s Denver-New England game to Week 6. Gilmore learned he tested positive Oct. 7. Two more Patriot players tested positive following the stars’ results. But both standouts are on track to return. In Gilmore’s case, he will be eligible to come back after not missing a game. Newton, who also returned to practice Thursday, missed the Pats’ Week 4 contest in Kansas City.

Gilmore helped the shorthanded Patriots stay close to the Chiefs for a while in their Week 4 loss. Last season, the former first-round pick intercepted six passes and became the first cornerback to win the defensive player of the year award in 10 years. The 30-year-old defender remains the anchor of New England’s top-flight secondary and received a pay bump earlier this year.

The Pats did not practice Wednesday but returned to their facility Thursday. After their game against the Broncos was rescheduled three times, it is currently slated to start at noon CT Sunday.

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Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore Tests Positive For COVID-19

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for COVID-19, as NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets. With that, the Patriots have called off Wednesday’s practice.

Gilmore’s positive tests comes on the heels of quarterback Cam Newton‘s diagnosis. In addition, practice squad defensive lineman Bill Murray has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which means that he has either come in close contact with someone that has the coronavirus or has it himself.

The Chiefs — who played the Patriots on Monday night — had zero positive tests in Wednesday’s round. However, Gilmore was in close contact with numerous Chiefs players during the game, including star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Gilmore was also on one of the Patriots’ two team planes, meaning that many more players and personnel members were potentially exposed.

Gilmore, 30, was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. He’ll be ineligible to play on Sunday against the Broncos, per league protocol, and his diagnosis will likely have a ripple effect on the schedule. More importantly, the hope is that the virus has not spread and that Gilmore remains in good condition.

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