Stephon Gilmore reportedly is set to join the defending Super Bowl champions on a pretty hefty contract.
But the Pro Bowl cornerback apparently took the news with more puzzlement than elation.
Shortly after reports surfaced Thursday morning that the New England Patriots are expected to sign Gilmore in free agency, ESPN’s Josina Anderson sent out a series of interesting tweets about how the former Buffalo Bills defensive back reacted to the move.
In sum: Gilmore wasn’t exactly expecting to be a Patriot. In fact, the 26-year-old thought he might land with the Chicago Bears, who reportedly had heavy interest in Gilmore but apparently didn’t offer him a worthy contract.
We don’t doubt Gilmore is excited about his opportunity in New England, but it’s noteworthy that he reportedly wasn’t aware the Patriots were pursuing him. New England wasn’t closely tied to Gilmore in free agent rumors, which could suggest the team made a last-minute decision to sign him. With Logan Ryan hitting unrestricted free agency and Malcolm Butler tied to the Patriots only by a first-round tender, perhaps New England learned of another shoe dropping at the cornerback position and pulled the trigger on a deal for Gilmore.
Of course, that’s all speculation, and we’d imagine the five-year veteran and future father is quite pleased to be joining the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense in 2016.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images