The New England Patriots’ upcoming opponent once expressed great interest in acquiring Stephon Gilmore, according to a report Thursday from NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan.
Speaking on WEEI’s “Merloni and Fauria,” Duncan said the New Orleans Saints “were very interested in” Gilmore but had concerns about the star cornerback’s health status.
“I know they made calls on him,” Duncan said. “They had some questions about his injury situation. I’m not too familiar with his health status, but I know there were some red flags with him physically, and that might have prevented any kind of deal getting done. They ended up making a deal for Bradley Roby instead. But they were making calls to teams all over the league. Any veteran corner that might have been available.”
The Saints’ trade for Roby earlier this month, Duncan said, likely eliminated any chance of a potential Gilmore deal.
“I think the (Gilmore) ship’s sailed now that they’ve got Roby back on board,” he said.
Gilmore has not played or practiced since he suffered a season-ending quad injury last December that required offseason surgery to repair. He began the season on the physically unable to perform list, making him ineligible to suit up for the Patriots (or any other team) until Week 7 at the earliest.
“I didn’t hear (the injury) prevented a deal,” Duncan said, “just that that was a red flag for (the Saints).”
Gilmore also has expressed displeasure with his contract, which is set to pay him just $7 million in base salary this season. It’s unclear where negotiations stand between him and the Patriots, but the team has “never been close to trading Gilmore,” according to a report last week from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
With Gilmore sidelined, Jalen Mills has started each of the Patriots’ first two games opposite current No. 1 corner J.C. Jackson, with Joejuan Williams also seeing an uptick in playing time. New England will host the Saints on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.