The New England Patriots and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are in the midst of a contract staredown.
Gilmore, entering his age-31 season and his final under contract, is owed a modest base salary of $7 million for the 2021 campaign. It comes after the Patriots gave the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year a $5 million cash advance before last season, and now he wants the bucket to be refilled. It should be noted the Patriots and Gilmore reportedly plan to sit down and perhaps hammer out a deal before training camp, though.
But just how much is Gilmore worth? And how much are the Patriots willing to pay to get him on the field in 2021, and even beyond? Well, that’s left to be determined. There are, however, a few NFL contracts the cornerback may have his eye on as he hopes to get something down himself.
And while it would be irresponsible for Gilmore to think he’s owed the same long-term contract as Los Angeles Rams’ Jalen Ramsey or Baltimore Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey, as they’re at different points of their respective careers, there are examples Gilmore is more closely aligned with.
The Philadelphia Eagles cornerback, 30, signed a three-year, $50 million contract heading into 2020 season. Slay has an average annual value of $16.68 million after receiving $26 million guaranteed at signing. He remains under contract through 2023, before Slay would enter his age-34 season.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes it is similar to the deal Gilmore is seeking.
“I think he’s looking for Darius Slay’s extension, which is $16.66 million per year,” Breer said on NBC10 Boston’s “Sports Sunday,” as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “The Slay comparison makes some sense because it’s Slay’s third contract. He was near 30 years old. The Patriots will tell you the Eagles may already regret doing that. But the bottom line is I think Gilmore has a point here. Now, if he’s asking for Jalen Ramsey money, that’s something else.”
ESPN’s NFL writer Jeremy Fowler told WEEI’s “The Ken & Curtis Show” it is something he could imagine for Gilmore, too.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, 32, signed a two-year, $22.4 million contract entering his age-30 season. It included $16.8 mullion guaranteed in signing bonus. Gilmore, while more accomplished recently, is on a similar playing field to Haden, a three-time Pro Bowler.
Gilmore’s agent, Jason Chayut of SportStars, as Fowler noted on WEEI, is known to do shorter-term deals that may not be as massive in number, but still have plenty of guaranteed money. Gilmore likely will want more than Haden’s $11.2 million AAV, but it may be tough to turn away 70-75 percent in guaranteed money like Haden received.
Here are some other contracts that Gilmore may have in mind at the negotiating table:
— Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones, 28, is owned $16.5 AAV with a five-year, $82.5 million contract with $40 guaranteed.
— New York Giants cornerback (and former Patriot) Logan Ryan, 30, signed a three-year, $31 million contract in 2020 when he was 29 with two-thirds ($20 million) due at signing.
— San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, 33, signed a three-year, $27.2 million in 2018 when he was 29.
— Washington Football Team cornerback William Jackson, 28, signed a three-year, $40.5 million deal with $26 million guaranteed.
It should be priority No. 1 for the Patriots to get Gilmore back on the field. But it seems rather unlikely New England will be able to do so without giving into Gilmore a bit.