Patriots: 3 players next in line for contract extensions

Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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The New England Patriots normally wait until the latter stages of free agency to upgrade their roster, but that simply wasn’t an option this offseason after they finished 7-9 last season and were never really in contention for a playoff spot.

Through the first week and a half of free agency, GM Bill Belichick has doled out close to $300 million in contracts, most of which was used on newcomers and easily eclipsed his combined FA spending budget over the last decade

After the initial wave of signings — which included studs like edge rusher Matt Judon, and tight end duo Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry — the Patriots put an emphasis on retaining some of their homegrown players who are greatly respected in the locker room.

Over the last few days, New England has inked deals to retain center David Andrews, running back James White and defensive linemen Deatrich Wise Jr. and Lawrence Guy, all of whom looked poised to sign elsewhere before Belichick swooped in.

While fans are thrilled that those players will be returning, it goes without saying that they would’ve preferred it if the Patriots didn’t wait until the last possible second to re-sign them.

With that in mind, let’s highlight a group of players who are next in line for extensions, presuming this cultural trend continues.

The Patriots should try to sign these 3 players to extensions.

Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

3. Stephon Gilmore

In normal circumstances, Stephon Gilmore would rank No. 1 on this list. However, seeing as though his future with the Patriots is still up in the air, it was impossible for us to justify doing so.

Gilmore is technically under contract through 2022, but that means nothing given that his deal, which comes with a lowly $7 million salary for next season, will have to be restructured by the start of training camp or else the Patriots will risk a potential holdout.

Stephon Gilmore’s contract situation remains a concern for the Patriots.

It goes without saying that Gilmore, who took home Defensive Player of the Year honors just two years ago, deserves to be one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league. While the Patriots have the requisite cap space to give him a raise and sign him to a short-term extension, their reluctance to do so last offseason really makes you wonder about their true intentions for him.

In a perfect world, the Patriots would probably like to trade Gilmore. However, his season-ending quad injury (which required surgery) from this past campaign has reportedly negatively impacted his market, meaning they could really struggle to find a trade partner for him if it came to that.

Taking that into account, the Patriots might have no other choice but to extend Gilmore, which isn’t the worst thing in the world considering that he’s still one of the best CBs in the league. The perennial Pro Bowler might not be long for New England, but giving him a one or two-year deal  would really help the new-look defense reach its full potential.