The New England Patriots are currently stuck between a rock and a hard place with star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who’s disgruntled with his contract situation.
Entering the final year of his four-year deal, Gilmore is slated to make just $7 million next campaign, which is criminal for a player of his caliber.
It remains to be seen what’ll happen with Gilmore, but the Patriots have had some comfort knowing they could turn around and sign Richard Sherman, who’s still braving the free agent waters, in the event Gilmore requested a trade before the start of next season.
Well, it would appear Sherman might no longer be an option for the Pats, as the veteran cornerback was booked on Wednesday morning at the Seattle Correctional Facility.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Sherman was arrested on burglary domestic violence charges, with court records confirming that he was jailed without bail.
Richard Sherman’s legal troubles likely rule him out as a Patriots target.
The Patriots have a history of signing players with shady backgrounds — they signed Antonio Brown when literally no other team would give him a chance — but something tells us they can’t afford such distractions after the massive step back they took in 2020.
Plus, the former All-Pro might get suspended once an investigation concludes.
Assuming that’s the case, Patriots fans can all but rule out the team pursuing Sherman as a potential contingency plan if negotiations with Gilmore fall apart. And for anybody wondering what burglary domestic charges entail, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explained it well.
"“Typically, the notion of “burglary domestic violence” refers to someone entering or refusing to leave a house or dwelling within the context of a domestic dispute. For example, someone who gets locked out of a house during an argument with a spouse or significant other and then breaks in potentially has committed ‘burglary domestic violence.'”"
Sherman is widely respected around the NFL, and we’d like to think his name will ultimately get cleared. However, the Patriots might not have time to wait around for the investigation to be completed. There’s no telling how long that’ll take, and, if Gilmore requests a trade in the coming days or even weeks, New England can’t be caught with their hands tied.
So, what are the Patriots’ remaining options? Well, when you consider this could all end with Sherman being suspended for the start of next season, Bill Belichick and Co. should probably do everything in their power convince Gilmore to stay.
If that means giving Gilmore a short-term contract that makes him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL or something as simplistic as a lucrative raise, then do it. After all, the free agent market for CBs is currently bereft of elite talent behind Sherman.