That feels good, right?!
The most upsetting aspect of all is that the Patriots knew this was coming. Paying Gilmore $7 million in a contract year after all he’s accomplished in recent seasons just wasn’t going to cut it.
Harp on the “Well, he signed a contract!” takes all you want. He’s out-played his deal. He shouldn’t be paid like a back-end first-rounder on the final year of a rookie contract.
And now, here we are.
Gilmore is willingly taking fines not to be with the team and he’s having some fun with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Instagram. Wait, didn’t these guys hate each other?!
Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore re-shared a post from DeAndre Hopkins on Instagram.
In 2020, fans were eager to see Gilmore and Hopkins go to battle. Back in 2019, Hopkins tweeted out a photo of him catching a ball over Gilmore with a caption that read, “when you see 10 double him!” after the Texans defeated the Patriots 28-22. Hopkins registered a touchdown pass as well as five catches for 64 yards. Nothing crazy, but he certainly wasn’t “shut down.”
Gilmore wasn’t pleased with the comment and seemingly subtweeted Hopkins by saying, “Bro was doubled on only two snaps all game and wants to be loud lol.” A year later against Hopkins on a new team after he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, Gilmore got the last laugh, holding the All-Pro receiver to five catches for 55 yards and no scores in a Patriots’ win.
Now? Hopkins is apparently trying to recruit Gilmore to the desert amid the swirling rumors regarding the cornerback’s future in New England?! And Gilmore is obliging?!
A trade with the Cardinals actually makes the most sense, too. Arizona is going for it all in this encouraging window, which was further emphasized by the addition of JJ Watt in the offseason. The defense could also use another star cornerback after Patrick Peterson departed for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Cards have $11 million in cap space remaining this offseason, $12 million for next offseason, and an absolute ton the year after. That means they can bring in Gilmore, sign him to a big short-term extension, and figure out how to restructure other contracts to help move them toward paying more money in 2023. Or maybe they’d give Gilmore a monster signing bonus.
The Patriots have the money to make an extension happen but it’s clear they were willing to wait it out. Now they’ll be subjected to watch other star players across the league try to recruit their shutdown cornerback.