Stephon Gilmore’s future with the New England Patriots seems far from certain.
The Patriots’ No. 1 cornerback enters the 2021 season as his last year under contract. Gilmore, 31, is set to become an unrestricted free agent entering his age-32 season in 2022.
The two-time All-Pro, as you may recall, received a $5 million pay bump ahead of the 2020 season, but it also made so he’s owed a mere $7 million base salary in 2021.
It’s hard to believe the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year will play the season for that low of a base salary. It means Gilmore could hold out for another raise or seek out a new contract. It seems some don’t believe that next contract will be coming from the Patriots, though.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Monday how most NFL general managers consider is a “foregone conclusion” the Patriots will trade Gilmore. La Canfora added that he hadn’t heard of the Patriots offering Gilmore an extension, meaning a trade “still seems like an eventuality.”
Fellow CBS Sports writer Patrik Walker even went as far as to include Gilmore among nine NFL stars “who could be traded this offseason.”
Here’s what Walker published to CBS Sports on Tuesday:
Quiet as it’s kept, quarterbacks aren’t the only ones on the trade block this offseason. After reportedly being on it ahead of the NFL deadline last season, Stephon Gilmore might again find himself in the mix — and he’ll garner plenty of interest. Entering the final year of his deal with the Patriots, Gilmore is set to hit the team’s salary cap for $15 million in 2021 and if they’re not interested in offering him another multi-year deal to his liking — trying to get assets in return for losing him makes sense. One of the best corners in the league, and arguably the best, the Patriots should be able to get a quality piece or two in return for him, assuming they decide it’s time to let the All-Pro head out of town by their hand and not by his own.
Walker noted a few potential landing spots for Gilmore include the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.
Gilmore appeared in 11 games for the Patriots in 2020 as he missed three contests with a knee injury and the final two with a partially torn quad, which he reportedly underwent surgery to repair.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Patriots and Gilmore go about their business this offseason, but a potential trade still can’t be finalized until the new league year begins March 17.