Stephon Gilmore

Patriots Still Open To Trading Stephon Gilmore?

The Patriots have yet to resolve Stephon Gilmore‘s contract issue, and they are now set to be without the All-Pro cornerback for at least six games. Gilmore will reside on New England’s reserve/PUP list to start the season.

While it would stand to reason the Pats will be eager to have Gilmore back in their starting lineup when he recovers from his troublesome quadriceps injury, there may not be a future here beyond 2021. On that note, the team is not believed to have ruled out a Gilmore trade, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes.

This topic surfaced in March but did not gain much steam. After a report indicated the Pats were open to trading Gilmore, news emerged shortly after stating that the team was not actively shopping the 10th-year corner. Gilmore trade rumors have come up on a few occasions over the past year and change. The Pats discussed Gilmore with other teams during the 2020 draft and set a high price for the accomplished defender at last year’s trade deadline. Nothing came to pass, and Gilmore remains attached to his 2017 contract. He is set to make just $7MM in base salary this season, the final year of the deal.

Optimism existed on a revised Gilmore deal last month, Graziano adds, but nothing has changed contractually. The 30-year-old corner did not attend minicamp or practice during training camp. Still, a Pats team with more realistic playoff aspirations this year would stand to benefit from a healthy Gilmore, who would lead their cornerback corps. It would seemingly take a strong offer for the Pats to give up the prospect of Gilmore leading a group that houses J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills.

Of course, the Pats have an extensive history of parting with veteran contributors just before Week 1 or early in the season. The team made Lawyer Milloy a surprise cut in September 2003, traded Richard Seymour to the Raiders in September 2009, traded Randy Moss to the Vikings in October 2010 and dealt Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers in September 2014.

A Gilmore trade could bring back an attractive haul for the Pats, even if a first-round pick is unrealistic — especially with Gilmore not being available until Week 7 at the earliest. A team that acquires the former Defensive Player of the Year would do so likely knowing a big-ticket extension will need to follow, unless said team is fine with a rental scenario. Gilmore’s camp was not expecting Jalen Ramsey-level money from the Pats, but the sides having not agreed to anything nearly two months after Gilmore went public about his dissatisfaction may extend this uncertain situation into the regular season.

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Patriots Reduce Roster To 53

The Patriots made headlines earlier today when they cut quarterback Cam Newton, a move that made rookie Mac Jones the starter. The team has since reduced their roster to 53 players, and we’ve detailed each of the moves (including those previously reported) below:

Released

Waived

Placed on Reserve/PUP list

Placed on Reserve/NFI list

Placed on Injured Reserve

The Patriots veterans are most notable, but the organization also waived a pair of 2021 draft picks. Sherman was a sixth-round pick out of Colorado who appeared in 30 games during his collegiate career. Nixon was a seventh-round pick; the wideout split his collegiate career between Ole Miss and Central Florida, earning All-AAC honors in 2019.

Patriots To Move Stephon Gilmore To Reserve/PUP List

Stephon Gilmore will not begin his season until at least October. The Patriots are moving the All-Pro cornerback to the reserve/PUP list, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Although Gilmore has been embroiled in a contract impasse with the Pats, he also is on the mend from a quadriceps injury. This roster move will sideline the former Defensive Player of the Year for the first six weeks of the season. Gilmore cannot return to practice until these six weeks are up, either.

A partially torn quad ended Gilmore’s 2020 season after 11 games. With this injury occurring in December of last year, it stands as concerning it will affect Gilmore’s 2021 campaign. The Patriots made numerous offseason additions to bolster their offense and defense, but Gilmore certainly serves as a key component to the team returning the playoffs. The team does have young standouts J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones and moved free agent signing Jalen Mills back to corner. New England also acquired rookie Shaun Wade from Baltimore. But Gilmore’s absence will make their jobs more difficult.

This has been a multi-issue offseason for the standout defender. The Patriots still have Gilmore attached to his 2017 deal — a five-year, $65MM contract that has become team-friendly — and the 10th-year veteran has pushed back against playing the 2021 season on it. The sides spent months at odds on this issue, though it was not believed to be a contentious matter. Gilmore, 31 in September, reported to the team for training camp. But has yet to practice and will not end up doing so for several more weeks.

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CB Stephon Gilmore Reports To Patriots

Stephon Gilmore continues to push for a new contract, but the standoff won’t keep him away from Foxborough. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the former Defensive Player of the Year reported to Gillette Stadium today. However, the veteran cornerback will temporarily sit on the PUP list.

We heard recently that the Patriots hadn’t made any progress on an extension with Gilmore. The cornerback previously hinted that he’d be satisfied with a simply bump in pay for the 2020 campaign, and some pundits believe the organization could find a compromise by offering Gilmore an incentive-based increase (similar to what they previously did with the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski). Gilmore is presumably waiting for an offer that contains more guaranteed money, explaining why he skipped the team’s entire offseason program, including mandatory minicamp.

Gilmore, 31 in September, is set to make just $7MM in base salary this season after a chunk of his money was advanced in 2020. In terms of average annual value ($13MM), the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year ranks as just the 13th highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. At the time of signing, his five-year, $65MM deal was plenty. Since then, the former Bills first-round pick has performed as one of the game’s premier cover men.

There’s mutual interest in a longer arrangement, since Gilmore was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 and ’19.However, questions persist about last year’s torn quad. Either way, barring an unexpected development, it sounds like the defensive back will at least spend the 2021 season with New England.

Gilmore was one of a handful of Patriots players to land on PUP today. He’ll be joined by defensive tackle Byron Cowart, linebacker Terez Hall, tight end Dalton Keene, linebacker Brandon King, wideout Devin Smith, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and linebacker Chase Winovich.

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No Progress For Patriots, Stephon Gilmore

The Patriots and cornerback Stephon Gilmore haven’t made any recent progress on their extension talks, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Gilmore told reporters recently that he’s not happy with his current contract, but also said that he wouldn’t demand a trade.

I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore said earlier this month. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is. Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play.”

Gilmore, 31 in September, is set to make just $7MM in base salary this season after a chunk of his money was advanced in 2020. In terms of average annual value ($13MM), the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year ranks as just the 13th highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. At the time of signing, his five-year, $65MM deal was plenty. Since then, the former Bills first-round pick has performed as one of the game’s premier cover men.

There’s mutual interest in a longer arrangement, since Gilmore was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 and ’19.However, questions persist about last year’s torn quad. Some believe that they can smooth things out with incentives for the current year, like they’ve done in the past for Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady. But, Breer hears that there hasn’t been much progress on that front either.

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Patriots Notes: Newton, Gilmore, Hightower

Shortly after the Patriots drafted Mac Jones in the first round, head coach Bill Belichick came out and said Cam Newton would remain the team’s starter until he was unseated. While a lot of coaches might express similar sentiments with respect to their veterans and not really mean it, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that he doesn’t think “that’s just lip service” from Belichick. Newton didn’t play well in 2020, but he also had a poor supporting cast and Belichick seems to be genuinely fond of him. Volin believes that “the Patriots’ quarterback job is Newton’s until he gets hurt or is clearly holding the team back.”

He adds that at a “minimum” he doesn’t think the team will want Jones to “have to deal with the pressure of playing against Tom Brady in the big return game in Week 4.” Volin highlights the week after their Week 11 Thursday night game against Atlanta as a good time to potentially make the switch. We’ve previously heard that the Patriots are going to hold a true open competition in training camp between Newton and Jones, but Volin seems to think the vet is a somewhat heavy favorite in that battle. If Jones flashes in the preseason that could change things in a hurry.

Here’s more from New England as they look to bounce back from a rough 2020:

  • Last week Stephon Gilmore confirmed he isn’t happy with his current contract, saying “I just want what I’m worth,” but also said he wouldn’t be demanding a trade. Gilmore said he hoped his camp and the team could “find common ground” and get something done, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com has an idea of what that might look like. Rather than outright adding guaranteed millions to his existing $7MM salary for 2021, “adding easily-earned incentives to Gilmore’s contract would fall most closely in line with the Patriots’ approach” in recent years, Reiss writes. He highlights how the team added millions in incentives to Rob Gronkowski and Brady’s contracts from 2017-18 to make their compensation more in-line with their market value as a potential blueprint. Reiss thinks the Pats would be more inclined to add incentives for this season rather than do a long-term extension because of concerns about their 2022 salary cap situation, as well as Gilmore’s relatively advanced age (31 in September).
  • Gilmore might not be the only member of this Patriots defense to have contract drama coming up. Star linebacker Dont’a Hightower opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, and is set to make $8.725MM with another $2MM in incentives available when he makes his return this season. Volin writes that his “hunch” is that Hightower is “worried about the Patriots asking him to take a pay cut.” Hightower turned 31 in March, and obviously hasn’t played since the 2019 season. He did make the Pro Bowl that year and has been a leader in New England for a while, but the Pats have never gotten too sentimental in the past. Gilmore is getting most of the attention, but it sounds like this could be another situation to monitor.

Stephon Gilmore Confirms Contract Issue, Does Not Plan To Seek Trade

Stephon Gilmore‘s contract continues to be a midsummer NFL talking point. The All-Pro did not attend the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp and is going into the final year of a contract several less accomplished cornerbacks have since surpassed.

The 10th-year veteran addressed some issues regarding his status with the Patriots and health going into training camp Friday.

I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore said in a text to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (Twitter links). “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is. Hopefully we can find some common ground & get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table & my style of play.”

Gilmore, 31 in September, is due just a $7MM base salary this season. This amount was set to be higher, but the Patriots moved money to give the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year a raise in 2020. In terms of average annual value, Gilmore’s $13MM mark has dropped to 13th. The Pats gave Gilmore a five-year, $65MM accord in 2017. The former Bills first-round pick has since become one of the game’s premier cover men, earning first-team All-Pro recognition in 2018 and ’19.

The Pats are not expected to do a new deal with Gilmore ahead of camp, however. The more likely scenario will be adding incentives for him to reach in 2021, similar to how the team played it with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in 2018. Gilmore is coming off a down season, playing in just 11 games due to contracting COVID-19 suffering a torn quadriceps. On the latter front, Gilmore said he has been running “a lot” since his quad surgery, though he stopped short of confirming he would be 100% by camp (Twitter link via Anderson).

Even though this situation remains unresolved, Gilmore confirmed to Anderson he is not planning to push for a trade. This supports previous reports indicating this situation is not contentious at this point.

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Latest On Stephon Gilmore, N’Keal Harry

Two former first-round picks have come up in Patriots trade rumors this offseason, with N’Keal Harry‘s request following rumblings related to walk-year cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Harry appears to have a better chance to be out of Foxborough in the near future.

The third-year wide receiver generated trade interest earlier this offseason but has some dead money in his contract. Still, if the Patriots do plan to unload him, a source informs Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio a fifth-round pick may be in play. Another evaluator is a bit less bullish on a potential return, viewing a sixth-rounder as the projected compensation for Harry, via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).

While these conclusions would be a value loss and add to the Bill Belichick-era Pats’ woeful record with highly drafted wideouts, the team has changed up its receiver room and may also be considering cutting Harry.

[RELATED: Stephon Gilmore Not Expecting Trade]

Although Harry is behind multiple free agents, with former UDFA wideouts also potentially having the edge on him for spots, Gilmore remains on track to be New England’s top cornerback in 2021. The All-Pro defender has expressed dissatisfaction with his salary, though his $7MM paragraph 5 figure is this low because of the Patriots moving money from 2021 to 2020 to appease their underpaid corner. But this process, Gilmore’s minicamp holdout notwithstanding, has not produced acrimony just yet.

The Pats, however, are not likely to give Gilmore a new contract ahead of the season, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, adding that an incentive package similar to the ones the team gave Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in 2018 makes more sense as a compromise. Gilmore’s 2020 play did not match his 2019 dominance — in a season that ended early because of a quadriceps tear and one that involved a COVID-19 contraction — and he will turn 31 in September.

New England should not be expected to pay Gilmore top-market cornerback money, and the corner’s camp identifying Darius Slay‘s Eagles extension (three years, $50.1MM) may even be too much. Gilmore might not reach the $15-$16MM-per-year range, Volin adds. It will be interesting to see, then, where the 10th-year veteran takes his holdout. The new CBA forces teams to dock players $50K for each training camp absence, and they are no longer allowed to waive fines after a player reports.

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Stephon Gilmore Not Expecting Trade

The subject of trade rumors at multiple junctures over the past year, Stephon Gilmore remains tied to the Patriots contract he signed in 2017. A resolution will need to take place fairly soon, with training camp beginning in less than a month and the former Defensive Player of the Year set to earn just $7MM in base salary.

Nothing has emerged indicating Gilmore and the Pats have made progress on another deal. While stalemates often lead to exits, this situation is not expected to produce a trade. During this months-long issue, the All-Pro cornerback has not expected to be dealt, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com noted during a SportsCenter appearance (h/t Bleacher Report). The most recent Gilmore trade rumors surfaced in March, but the Patriots’ moves since point to them planning for their No. 1 corner to be around in 2021.

[RELATED: No Acrimony Between Patriots, Stephon Gilmore]

New England deviated from its usual free agency pattern by acquiring several high-priced veterans. Adding the likes of Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy and Trent Brown (via trade) illustrates the Pats’ plans for the 2021 season fairly well, and Gilmore has taken notice the team did not make a major cornerback addition, per Fowler. The Pats did sign Jalen Mills and have moved him back to corner from the safety role he played in 2020. But Gilmore should still be expected to head up New England’s coverage corps. New England did not draft a corner.

Although Gilmore did not reach his dominant 2019 level in 2020 — an 11-game season for the nine-year veteran — and will be 31 this season, he represents a key piece for the Pats’ playoff chances. The contract issue is not going away, however. Gilmore skipped minicamp and recently made reference to the cornerback salary landscape — in a since-deleted tweet, via ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss.

Gilmore’s average annual value is no longer especially relevant, since he is in Year 5 of a five-year contract, but the new cornerback market certainly will pertain to his next deal. And the four-time Pro Bowler has certainly noticed several less accomplished players pass him in recent years. Gilmore’s $13MM AAV ranks tied for 13th among corners. His camp having pointed to Darius Slay‘s three-year, $50MM deal as a comparable contract suggests he is willing to be flexible with the Pats, with Slay’s $16.7MM AAV off the Jalen RamseyMarlon Humphrey top tier.

As Jason McCourty‘s recent run shows, the Pats are willing to deploy thirtysomething corners. It remains to be seen if they will pay big money for Gilmore’s early-30s seasons, however.

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Patriots Notes: Rookies, Winovich, Uche

Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office still have some tasks to complete before the start of training camp. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes, the team still hasn’t signed first-round quarterback Mac Jones, and both second-round defensive tackle Christian Barmore and third-round defensive end Ronnie Perkins also remain unsigned. According to Reiss, the players’ agents are waiting “to see more contracts finalized before moving forward,” so it’s only a matter of time before these rooks are under contract.

The team also needs to resolve their standoff with cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who’s set to play the 2021 season on a below-market $7MM salary. Reiss said the situation “hardly seems contentious,” but both sides will eventually be looking for a resolution.

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com recently suggested that a new deal could be in place by the end of the summer (Twitter link), and since New England clearly has designs on returning to the playoffs this season, keeping Gilmore in the fold would seem imperative. However, there are complications. Gilmore will turn 31 in September, and though he made the Pro Bowl last season, that bid seemed to be based more on name recognition than anything else. He played in only 11 games due to injury and COVID-19, and Pro Football Focus ranked him just 61st among qualified corners. On the flip side, he’s only a year removed from a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

More news out of New England:

  • Reiss recently observed that he didn’t see much of Chase Winovich during minicamp, and the writer wondered if the third-year player could see a reduced role following the additions of linebackers Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy (paired with the return of Dont’a Hightower). Reiss later noted that Winovich is sticking around New England before training camp, and he’s been preparing for the upcoming season at Gillette Stadium. We recently explored Winovich’s potential availability via trade.
  • There’s another reason why Winovich could see a lesser role in 2021: teammate Josh Uche was one of the standouts during minicamp. Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that the team could use Uche similarly to Van Noy; while the 2020 second-round pick will have a surefire role on the edge, he could also see some time at inside linebacker depending on his development in coverage.
  • Earlier tonight, we celebrated (?) the one-year anniversary of Cam Newton joining the New England Patriots.