How Imminent Jamie Collins-Patriots Reunion Led To Stephon Gilmore Exit

Collins and the Patriots reportedly are nearing a contract

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Jamie Collins in; Stephon Gilmore out.

Essentially, that’s the decision the New England Patriots reportedly made Wednesday morning.

The Patriots are expected to part ways with Gilmore — via release or trade — by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, per multiple reports. The news arrived less than a day after multiple insiders reported that New England is nearing a deal to reunite with Collins.

Those two things are related, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

“The Patriots were about $54,000 under the (salary) cap,” Schefter said during Wednesday’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Max” episode. “They had less room than just about any team in the league, if not any team in the league. And they want to go sign Jamie Collins, they want to make other moves, they want to have cap flexibility the remainder of the year. … And, when you look at it, who was the guy where there was the most cap space tied up? Guy that was on the physically unable to perform list in Stephon Gilmore.

“They went to him to get a reworked contract done. He was unwilling to do what they said. He would have done something if it was favorable in his direction, but it wasn’t. He knew the leverage that he held, and he said, ‘Nah, I’m not gonna do that.’ And they needed the space, and he’s in the last year of a contract. Both sides were going different ways, and the (Patriots) said, ‘You know what? He’s not rushing back from his quad injury right now to play for us, he won’t take the reworked deal, we love the guy as a player.’ … But they needed some flexibility and space and they freed up $5.8 million by releasing him. So, now New England can function and operate.”

Here’s the Patriots’ updated cap situation, accounting for the potential release of Gilmore but not the addition of Collins, per cap guru Miguel Benzen:

Follow NESN.com for more updates as this story develops.
Former New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore
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