Is something afoot with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Stephon Gilmore?
Gilmore injured his knee about a month ago in the team’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers and didn’t return to action until this past Sunday against the Houston Texans. Between those two points in time, Gilmore was the subject of trade rumors, he put his Foxborough home up for sale (then said it was because he wanted to live in the city … four years into his contract), and felt the need to say that he would never not be out there with his teammates unless he was physically hampered.
On top of all that, we never really got much clarity on his knee injury. Though that’s the typical “Patriot Way” when it comes to disclosing information, you’d think things would be a bit different during a pandemic season in which the team is severely falling below expectations.
And after all, a lack of clarity does lead to stuff like this!
"“I think Stephon Gilmore and Bill Belichick are at odds,” said former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said on NBC Sports Boston’s ‘Pregame Live.’ “I think that there was something, probably over the contract, that those two aren’t seeing eye to eye on, and I feel like it’s almost become untenable with Stephon Gilmore and Bill Belichick. My feeling is, was the knee injury — is there some truth to that? Yes. But I think it was more that Bill was not happy with Stephon and vice versa.”"
You might remember three-time Super Bowl champion Ted Johnson, who played middle linebacker for the Patriots from 1995-2004. He knows Bill Belichick very well, and speculated that the head coach and Gilmore might be feuding over the cornerback’s contract situation.
It could be true! We just don’t know. Looking at Gilmore’s 2021 situation, where he’s earning just a $7 million base salary, we wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of friction regarding his contract considering he’s coming off a DPOY campaign. Though he did get a raise for 2020, he likely wants more financial security given he’s one of the best in the game.
Johnson obviously isn’t an insider, but he’s speaking from personal experience, and there could be some truth to this fishy situation. There’s a 99.9% chance we’ll never know the truth, but it’s at least worth wondering since the last month, coupled with all of the relative factors, has been spent bizarrely connecting the dots.