Stephon Gilmore has not been good for the Patriots in 2020 ,and it could hurt him financially.
During the second installment of the Stephon Gilmore trade rumors, which came a couple of weeks before the Nov. 3 deadline, many believed the New England Patriots‘ motivation for potentially moving the All-Pro cornerback was because of his contract situation.
Gilmore has only one year left on his deal and the Patriots actually gave him a raise for 2020 following his Defensive Player of the Year campaign in 2019. Were they just appeasing him now only to trade him later to avoid giving him another large contract extension? After all, he’ll only make a $7 million base salary in 2021, which is the final year of his deal. He’ll be looking for one last cash out after his scorching tenure with the Patriots.
But based on his largely pedestrian play and injury issues in 2020, are the Pats actually positioning themselves to have the leverage in any extension talks? Let’s be honest, they could have gotten a first-round pick for him before the deadline even with his injury. If they didn’t want that, perhaps they want him to remain in New England, but at a more cost-effective price.
Across seven games in 2020, Gilmore has just two passes defended, which is 18 off of his league-leading 20 in 2019. He’s also allowing a 53.3% completion rate on throws his way, which have totaled 16 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown. If we’re being honest, there hasn’t been much of a difference with him on the field vs him off the field.
It’s also important to note that holding out now drastically disadvantages the players because it costs them more money than ever before. Gilmore does have his 2018 and 2019 seasons to reference in contract talks, but he’ll be entering his age-32 season by the time a hypothetical new contract were to set in.
He has that going against him, along with a lackluster season thus far.
Gilmore signed a five-year, $65 million contract before the 2017 season and has been a member of some great Patriots defenses. However, the typically-vaunted unit lost a ton of steam heading into 2020 thanks to free agency departures and opt outs. Gilmore hasn’t exactly been “exposed” due to all the losses, but he certainly hasn’t shined. In fact, JC Jackson’s been better! He has a league-leading six interceptions and has recovered three fumbles. He’s emerging as a legitimate option to take over once Gilmore leaves.
Which, by the way, could be another way for the Patriots to exert their leverage. We’re not sure what the deal is, but we do know Bill Belichick won’t be overpaying for Gilmore regardless of the circumstances.