Two of the top cornerbacks in the National Football League — the Los Angeles Rams’ Jalen Ramsey and Buffalo Bills’ Tre’Davious White — have cashed in in a big way.
Ramsey, specifically, signed a five-year, $105 million extension with the Rams on Wednesday. It’s the largest contract ever signed by a cornerback, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Meanwhile, 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has sat back and watched as the New England Patriots’ All-Pro continues to look like a bargain.
Gilmore has two years left on his current contract, a five-year, $65 million deal he signed in March 2017. He is set to earn a base salary of $10.5 million this season and $11.5 million in 2021. Ramsey is set to earn an average of $21 million per year. It begs the question as to whether Gilmore could receive, or attempt to receive, an extension sooner rather than later.
NFL writer Albert Breer, speaking on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand” on Wednesday, explained how he thought the situation could play out.
“Well, there were rumblings earlier in the offseason that Stephon Gilmore may try to make things uncomfortable in the offseason on the Patriots and try and get an adjustment to his contract. Now, that never happened, but I do think Gilmore, as anybody would be, is cognizant of what’s going on in the rest of the league,” Breer told the radio station. “This guy was the defensive player of the year last year, and I think part of the way that some people around him looked at it was, ‘Well, if I’m the defensive player of the year, at the time, Khalil Mack is making $23.5 (million), Aaron Donald is making $22.5 (million), you can argue positional value, ‘But am I really that much less valuable than those guys?’ That was sort of the way he’s looking at it. And now guys at his position getting paid like that takes it to another level.
“… With two years left on Gilmore’s deal, I certainly think it’s one of those things where, if you’re the player and you’re looking at it, you’re saying to yourself at some point I’ve got to get aggressive and try to pursue a new deal, because I’m not getting any younger and there are a lot of guys at my position getting paid.”
Breer noted, from a team perspective, that if the Patriots are expecting to sign Gilmore to an extension, it would make sense to do it this season. One reason behind that would be so the Patriots are paying the almost 30-year-old corner his guarantees sooner — perhaps the latter part of his prime — rather than rolling the guarantees into his mid-30s.