Patriots: 3 best offseason trade destinations for Stephon Gilmore
Despite his injury, the Patriots should consider trading Stephon Gilmore.
This offseason will be a pivotal one for the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick, who’s nearing the end of his coaching career, has little time to waste and few mistakes to make from this point forward. A quick turnaround via a mini re-tool could get the Pats back into contention, but the margin for error is razor thin.
Though there will be plenty of cap space to spend on marquee names, it’d also help if the Patriots got their hands on some more draft capital, which they can do if they trade Stephon Gilmore. Some would argue against doing that, but the reality is that he’s not getting an extension from New England.
Additionally, he took a bit of a step back in 2020, suffered a season-ending quad injury (though he’ll be good to go for the start of 2021), and prioritizing JC Jackson, who won’t be cheap as a restricted free agent, should be the main focus.
Shedding Gilmore’s salary will give the Patriots even more money to spend, should get them another mid-round pick to use in the deep 2021 draft, and would eliminate another contract headache — the last thing this team needs is offseason drama.
So let’s explore some destinations that make sense for Gilmore, the Patriots and their potential trade partners.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have a ton of cap space and need a defensive back.
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has been arguably the best executive in the league since taking over the front office in 2017. He turned the ship around after a disastrous tenure by Ryan Grigson and Andrew Luck’s retirement. Now, all they need is a franchise QB and a couple of pieces here and there.
One of those pieces could be a veteran cornerback of Gilmore’s caliber. He could benefit from the Colts’ zone scheme as he continues to age, too. Indy will also have among the most cap space in the league, so they’d be able to afford an extension for Gilmore, who’s going to want one.
Why would the Colts do this? They have veterans in Xavier Rhodes and TJ Carrie signed to one-year deals, and both have upped their value, so they may not be retained. Adding another star to the secondary perhaps at a bit of a discount on the trade market could go a long way for a team trying to get over the hump.
Gilmore’s trade market is hardly in focus right now given all of the pending factors, but if the Pats are considering a deal, they should call Ballard in the coming months.