NFL Writer Offers Take On Stephon Gilmore, Patriots Contract Standoff

Gilmore publicly expressed his contract displeasure last week


July 3, 2021

Bill Belichick and Stephon Gilmore seem to be in a staring contest, and for once the New England Patriots head coach and general manager might not have the leverage.

Gilmore publicly expressed displeasure with his contract situation in a tweet last week. Gilmore, who remains under team control for the 2021 season, is due a base salary of $7 million. It is far less than what Gilmore is worthy of, and it led the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year to hold out of OTAs and then minicamp earlier this month.

Sports Illustrated NFL writer Albert Breer, who’s closely tied in with the Patriots, offered his outlook on how the events have unfolded.

“If you’re going to mess around with Gilmore it sort of undermines everything else you have done,” Breer told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” on Friday.

“And I don’t know how at that point you go to your boss, and Bill Belichick has a boss like everybody else, and say, ‘Yeah, I spent 160 million guaranteed this offseason — set a new record for the league, not for the Patriots, for the league, in guaranteed money spent in free agency — and we’re going to play hardball with our best player. 

“And that?s Gilmore’s leverage.”

Breer also noted how the Patriots should have seen this coming after giving Gilmore a “cash advance,” not the same as a raise, ahead of the 2020 season. Gilmore’s base salary is $7 million now due to New England giving him $5 million before last season.

ESPN?s Jeremy Fowler indicated Thursday how talks between the Patriots and Gilmore could ramp up soon, and he’s not alone. NFL Media?s Mike Giardi is pretty confident that Gilmore will be starting for the Patriots Week 1 and ESPN’s Mike Reiss acknowledged how the two parties actually might be in a good place.

Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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