The clock is ticking for Stephon Gilmore and the New England Patriots.
Gilmore has neither practiced nor played in a preseason game since the start of training camp, due either to the quad injury he suffered last season or his ongoing contract dispute — or a combination of the two. He apparently remains a key contributor behind the scenes, fueling optimism the Patriots and the star cornerback eventually will come to an agreement.
So, what’s the latest? NFL insider Albert Breer on Sunday offered new insight into the Patriots-Gilmore situation, including the 30-year-old’s contract demands.
“Well, I think there’s a real deadline coming (Aug. 31) that’s the final (roster) cutdown,” Breer said during an NBC Sports Boston appearance. ” … They gotta make a decision whether to put him on (the physically unable to perform list) or not. They put him on PUP, he’s out for the first six weeks of the season. So, I’ve said all along: Steph Gilmore is not planning on playing in 2021 for seven million bucks. However, if they decide not to do his contract in the next nine days, they gotta make a decision on putting him on PUP, now all of a sudden maybe he’s playing half the year for seven million bucks. And, so, I think that’s a real deadline for the Patriots: trying to get something done before having to make a decision whether or not to put him on the PUP list.
“And, as of right now, the feeling I get, he’s looking for a raise more than he’s looking for incentives. I’m not sure incentives are gonna get it done because they’ve dragged it out this far.”
With their current roster construction, the Patriots absolutely need Gilmore on the field. Despite the emergence of J.C. Jackson, New England’s secondary simply isn’t good enough with the domino-drop amid Gilmore’s absence.
Obviously, this will be a storyline worth monitoring as the Patriots approach their final roster cutdown.