Stephon Gilmore is taking a measured approach to his contract situation with the New England Patriots.
Gilmore skipped organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, and a recent tweet suggested he’s looking for a raise over the $7 million base salary he’s scheduled to earn in 2021 as part of the final year of his contract. But the veteran cornerback on Friday told longtime NFL reporter Josina Anderson he’s not pushing for a trade and simply wants his pay to reflect his value.
“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore told Anderson. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.”
Gilmore regressed a bit in 2020, an underwhelming season for the Patriots in wake of Tom Brady’s departure. He’s still considered one of the league’s top cornerbacks, though, and losing him ahead of the 2021 campaign would be a huge blow to New England’s revamped defense.
As such, the Patriots would be wise to keep the Gilmore-J.C. Jackson cornerback pairing intact. And that might require Bill Belichick to work out a new deal with Gilmore, a path the four-time Pro Bowl selection certainly seems receptive to pursuing in the coming weeks/months.
“Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated,” Gilmore said, per Anderson. “I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on myself and make sure I’m good mentally and physically.”
Gilmore, a two-time First-Team All-Pro and the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, is entering his fifth season with the Patriots after spending his first five seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He turns 31 in September.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday the Patriots and Gilmore plan to sit down before training camp and potentially hammer out a deal. Gilmore’s comments Friday seemingly lend credence to that report, which could further cool trade speculation for the time being.