Patriots: NFL insider clarifies buzz on Stephon Gilmore trade rumors

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

NFL insider Ian Rapoport provided an update on the trade rumors surrounding Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore.

With the New England Patriots sitting at 2-4 and the gaping holes of the roster becoming more evident with each passing passing week, there’s been growing speculation among media members that Bill Belichick could set the season on fire and sell at the trade deadline.

Despite their concerning flaws, the Patriots do have a handful of players for which they could likely get a haul in return. It goes without saying that cornerback Stephon Gilmore is their most intriguing trade chip, and recent reports have suggested that Belichick and Co. have held discussions about unloading him.

However, NFL insider Ian Rapoport noted on Wednesday that those rumors likely stem from the trade buzz surrounding Gilmore that surfaced at the start of the season when he was pursuing a new contract. In fact, the esteemed reporter went as far as to say that he hasn’t heard much of anything of late in regards to Gilmore’s market or him being sold.

A lot can change between now and Nov. 3, but this report makes it seem like Gilmore will remain with the Patriots for the rest of the season. With that being said, however, we wouldn’t jump to conclusions as the fate of him and other players could be contingent on how the team performs in Sunday’s massive matchup against Buffalo.

A win would obviously catapult the Patriots right back into contention for the division crown as well as the thick of the AFC playoff picture, but a loss would send them to 2-5 and with one of the worst records in the entire league.

What also remains to be seen is how much draft capital Belichick would be able to attain in return for Gilmore, who hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was in 2019. In six games, the All-Pro corner has compiled a below-average 61.0 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus, which is a far cry from his 82.8 marking last season, when he rightfully took home Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Couple Gilmore’s shocking run of form with the fact that he carries a $17 million cap hit in 2021, and it’s very possible that the Patriots wouldn’t be able to recoup a first-round draft pick in return for him. With his trade value as low as its been in a long time, it wouldn’t make much sense for Belichick to unload one of the best CBs in the game for a minimal return package.

Rapoport is clearly right up there with ESPN’s Adam Schefter as one of the most reliable insiders in the league, so we fully trust the insight he dishes out on a daily basis. If this specific piece of intel is accurate, it means New England will hold onto Gilmore for the rest of 2020.

How do we feel about that, Patriots fans?