A torn quad just under a year ago ultimately spelled the beginning of the end for Stephon Gilmore in New England.
Gilmore tore his quad in December of last season and needed surgery. Amid his rehab was an ongoing contract dispute with the Patriots. Gilmore wanted to be paid his market value in the final year of his contract, but the Patriots weren’t budging.
Before he had a chance to even participate in a practice with the Pats this season, New England traded him to the Carolina Panthers. Gilmore pointed out that he didn’t appreciate how the Patriots handed his injury recovery, and he expounded on it in a recent interview with The Athletic’s Joseph Person.
From the interview:
When you return to play, you want to rehab back to return to play. But I felt like they were doing more workouts than rehab, more working out like someone (who) was 100 percent healthy and in the offseason program. But I was rehabbing, coming back from surgery. So that?s different. I think you should take steps to come back and play.
It was just making me do all types of running and lifting way more than I was supposed to. I?m just happy everything ? I feel like God puts you in position to be in a better place. They handled it right here, and I?m on the right track. I feel good ? better and better every week. And I feel more confident.
I didn?t show up there over the summer, so I was on the right track. And then I show up there and start on all the unnecessary stuff. Like, right before I got traded, I ran like 3,000 yards in three days. Like a real workout. It?s like, why would you do all that right before you trade me? You don?t do that. Let me do it my way. I don?t know if they were trying to test (the leg) and see, I don?t know. I?m not the type of guy that says, ?Oh, I don?t want to do that.? I work hard. I do my stuff. I just think that wasn?t right.
Whether or not the Patriots agree ultimately doesn’t matter, as Gilmore clearly felt he was wronged. That said, we’ll go out on a limb and guess Bill Belichick won’t further confirm or deny that’s what went down if he is ever asked about it.