There has to be something juicy going on behind the scenes with Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots, right?
Well, maybe, but the reality of the situation might be a bit more boring and straightforward than many would expect.
Gilmore, who tore a quad at the end of last season, sat out all of training camp and reportedly — and transparently, really — wanted New England to rework his contract. Trade rumors, holdout speculation and everything in between made the rounds throughout the summer.
Then, on roster cutdown day, the Patriots placed Gilmore on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning the star cornerback will miss at least the first six weeks of the season. At the time, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Gilmore would not have been ready to play until Week 3 at the earliest, and that he’s more open to playing under his current price tag over a truncated schedule, rather than a full slate.
Rapoport doubled down on those claims during a WEEI interview Thursday morning.
“So, here’s my understanding of where it stands,” Rapoport said on the “Gresh and Keefe” show. “Stephon Gilmore would not have been able to play Week 1 regardless of what list he was on. A better … gauge of where he was going to be, I was told, Week 3 maybe, Week 4 probably.
” … Let’s say nothing was going on, he had no other issues. There would’ve been a chance he would’ve started the season on the (53-man roster), would’ve gone on (injured reserve) and would’ve come back Week 4. That obviously did not happen. … When he gets back he’ll be fully healthy, without the little contract boost that he wanted.”
As for a potential trade, Patriots fans probably shouldn’t expect one.
“I’d say it’s possible, there’s just not a big window to do it,” Rapoport said. “Like, if you look at just the calendar, he’ll be back (two weeks) before the trade deadline. So, theoretically, somebody would have to say, ‘I trust enough in what I’ve seen in one game or two games to trade for him.’
Would the Patriots, whose secondary depth currently is very questionable, even want to move Gilmore?
“I would never rule anything out with the Patriots, but they’d have to have a really good replacement for him to do that mid-season and not have it derail everything.”
Perhaps a dramatic end to this weird story still is in the cards.
However, at this point, the likeliest scenario seemingly is Gilmore returning midseason, playing the rest of the campaign and hitting free agency next spring.