A season that began on the New England Patriots’ physically unable to perform list will end in a Pro Bowl appearance for Stephon Gilmore.
Four months after his midseason trade to the Carolina Panthers, the former Patriots cornerback on Sunday was added to the NFL’s 2022 Pro Bowl roster as an alternate.
The Gilmore trade was a controversial move for the Patriots, who shipped the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year to Carolina and received just a 2023 sixth-round draft pick in return. New England’s secondary held up surprisingly well following Gilmore’s departure, but its lack of depth ultimately was exposed in the postseason.
With a positive COVID-19 test sidelining Gilmore’s replacement, Jalen Mills, the Buffalo Bills torched the Patriots’ defense in the wild-card round, scoring touchdowns on every possession in a 47-17 rout.
After the trade, Gilmore said he did not appreciate the way the Patriots handled his recovery from the partially torn quad that ended his 2020 season. He wound up playing in eight games for his hometown Panthers, grabbing two interceptions — including one against New England quarterback Mac Jones — and finishing as Pro Football Focus’s 11th-highest-graded cornerback.
Gilmore will see a number of familiar faces at this week’s Pro Bowl festivities, including Jones, who was named to the AFC roster as an alternate, and J.C. Jackson, who succeeded him as the Patriots’ No. 1 cornerback (and now is set to hit free agency). Jackson, outside linebacker Matthew Judon and special teamer Matthew Slater all were voted to the Pro Bowl.
The NFL’s annual all-star game will take place this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.