With the NFL offseason comes the rumors and big-name moves. The offseason’s first big deal has already made landfall, with J.J Watt joining the Arizona Cardinals on a two-year deal. Now, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is being mentioned as a trade candidate. According to NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, multiple NFL executives believe it is more likely than not that Gilmore will be on the move at some point during the offseason.
While Gilmore has been one of the league’s top corners for a while, last season was a step in the wrong direction. According to Pro Football Focus, Gilmore finished with a PFF grade of 61. His coverage grade ranked 61st in the league amongst all eligible cornerbacks. He finished with just one interception and three passes defended last season, both career lows.
At this point in his career, Gilmore can still be a valuable asset to various teams. Gilmores’ positive COVID-19 result hindered his production last year. However, the main dilemma is Gilmores’ current contract situation.
Gilmore is in the final year of a 5-year deal he signed back in 2017. His cap hit for this upcoming season is roughly 15 million dollars. The Patriots would save 7 million in salary-cap space if they were to release him. According to reports, Gilmore and the Patriots have not made any significant progress towards a contract extension. Given his cap hit and current form, it isn’t good value for the Patriots to hold onto Gilmore.
Potential Landing Spots for Gilmore
As mentioned above, Gilmore can still be a competent corner for nearly any team in the league. Teams will be flocking to try and pry Gilmore away from the Patriots. The Arizona Cardinals have inquired about Gilmore’s availability on multiple occasions, according to reports. This makes sense, as the team may not retain veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason.
The Green Bay Packers are another team to watch as potential trade partners for Gilmore. After a poor defensive showing against the Buccaneers in the playoffs, the Packers will be looking to add competent corners like Gilmore in the offseason.
The final team to watch as a potential landing spot for Gilmore is the San Francisco 49ers. With ample cap space, the 49ers would be able to absorb Gilmores’ contract. Gilmore would step in for the departing Richard Sherman, who announced his retirement following the seasons’ conclusion. In a division with De’Andre Hopkins and D.K Metcalf, San Francisco would be delighted to add a player like Gilmore.
While he won’t fetch a first-round pick on the open market, a second or third-round pick might be enough to get the Patriots to part ways with Gilmore.