Why did Patriots allow Stephon Gilmore situation to reach this point?


The New England Patriots have known for over a year now that they were going to have to address Stephon Gilmore’s contract situation before the start of 2021.

Well, with mandatory minicamp arriving this week, the Patriots’ procrastination, for lack of a better term, has come back to bite them.

Per multiple reports, Gilmore was a no-show at Monday’s practice and doesn’t plan on showing up for the duration of camp.

With just one year remaining on his contract, Gilmore wasn’t present in Foxborough for the Patriots’ voluntary OTA sessions over the last few weeks, either.

While that was understandable, however, Gilmore’s presence (or lack thereof) at minicamp, was always going to be the ultimate indicator in terms of where the two-time All-Pro believes he stands with New England from a contractual standpoint.

In essence, there’s no more delaying the inevitable for the Patriots.

Stephon Gilmore was nowhere to be found at mandatory minicamp.

Gilmore is clearly unhappy with his contract situation, and he has every right to be. The former Defensive Player of the Year is currently slated to earn a $7 million salary for the upcoming season, which is well below the market value for a player of his standards.

Of course, the Patriots made Gilmore a well-compensated cornerback last season when they borrowed some of his 2021 salary ($4.5 million) and gave it to him last campaign, bumping his earnings from a middling $10.5 million to a respectable $15.5 million.

While some fans might think New England can navigate around this predicament without a problem, they have no more years of Gilmore’s contract to borrow from. The 30-year-old cornerback was also coming off his DPOY season. Now, however, he’s coming off a lackluster season that ended early due to season-ending quad surgery.

And for anybody wondering if Gilmore is content with being fined by sitting out of mandatory minicamp, his absence tells you all you need know.

Per league rules, missing Monday’s practice will cost him about $15,000. If the former first-rounder misses the second session, a clean $30,000 will be added to his fine total. If Gilmore misses avoids the team’s third session, he’ll take $45,000 on the chin, bringing the combined three-day total to $90,000.

Though Gilmore is coming off season-ending surgery, his success in the Patriots’ defensive scheme suggests he deserves to be one of the highest-paid CBs in the league. Given that Jalen Ramsey leads the way at the position at $20 million per year, Gilmore probably won’t show his face at camp until he’s offered a salary in the range of $14-18 million.

We’ll know soon enough if the Patriots are willing to pay him that much.