The New England Patriots reportedly considered parting ways with their best player this summer.
The Patriots “floated” cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s name “in trade discussions” this offseason, according to a report Sunday from Albert Breer of The MMQB.
Per Breer’s report, these trade talks took place “both before the draft and during camp.”
Gilmore, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, carries the Patriots’ highest 2020 salary cap hit at $18.67 million.
New England operated with minimal cap space for much of the offseason before eight players opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, wiping their contracts off the books for 2020. The Patriots now enter the season with the second-most cap space in the NFL behind the Cleveland Browns.
The Patriots earlier this week reportedly gave Gilmore a $5 million raise, bumping his 2020 salary from $10.5 million to $15.5 million, with the chance to earn an additional $2 million through incentives.
Gilmore missed four days of training camp for personal reasons earlier this summer. His Patriots contract is set to expire after the 2021 season.
New England hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in the regular-season opener for both teams.
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots