Patriots: 3 moves that should come next for New England
By Jerry Trotta
2. Extend Stephon Gilmore
The Patriots really need to sort out Stephon Gilmore’s contract situation.
The Patriots are seemingly entrenched in contract negotiations with Stephon Gilmore, who’s slated to make just $7 million next season. It goes without saying that’s significantly below the market value for a cornerback of his caliber, so he’d be fully justified in holding out of training camp for a new-and-improved deal if it came to that.
There’s been speculation that the Patriots could trade Gilmore this offseason, but that seems unlikely given that they’re reportedly not actively shopping him and that his season-ending quad injury, which required surgery, has negatively impacted his trade market. With that in mind, they don’t have any real reason not to nip this nagging headache in the bud as soon as possible.
Entering his age-31 season, the Patriots are probably reluctant to give Gilmore a long-term extension, and understandably so. However, a two or three-year deal could entice both sides, which would ensure that he spends the remainder of his prime in New England (at a handsome price) while also having the Pats avoid the risk of having him eat up cap space when his play inevitably declines.
While there’s a debate to be had whether the Patriots should trade Gilmore for a draft pick while he can still return solid value, the latest reports about his market confirm that keeping him around is in their best interest.
After all, he took home Defensive Player of the Year honors just two years ago and is still one of the two or three best corners in the league. With a revamped front seven and assuming he’s fully recovered from the quad injury, we might just see Gilmore return to his very best in 2021.