Panthers GM gives details behind Stephon Gilmore’s trade from Patriots

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Bill Belichick, per usual, didn’t give much insight on Stephon Gilmore’s trade to the Carolina Panthers.

On Wednesday, reports came out that the 31-year-old was being released by the New England Patriots after spending the first four weeks of the season on the PUP list. Shortly after, the news broke that Gilmore was traded to the Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer joined the “Movin’ the Chains” podcast on SiriusXM NFL Radio later that day and gave some more insight.

“Really, the opportunity kind of came about, we started hearing things about it (Tuesday) night, and then (Wednesday) morning, something came out on the Internet that he was being released,” Fitterer said. “So Pat Stewart, who is our VP of player personnel, called up to (Patriots director of player personnel) Dave Ziegler, and they started conversations, and as the morning went on, you heard, ‘Hey, teams are getting involved. You may have to trade for him now.’ So instead of just waiting and seeing what happened and waiting for him to be released, we just thought we’d be aggressive and go out and take a shot on him. We just love what he’s going to bring to our organization.”

One of the biggest issues between Gilmore and the Patriots was his contract situation. He reportedly wanted his fifth and final year to be restructured for more money or he wanted an extension. The Patriots clearly weren’t willing to do either of those things — but the Panthers seem much more interested in the idea.

“We’re open to extending him,” Fitterer said. “We want to get him here, take a look at him, see how he is health-wise, how he fits in. I know he wants to be here. He’s a South Carolina guy. So we’re open to extension talks with him, as well. We can fit him in. … We’re very open to working out a deal.”

The Patriots now have J.C. Jackson, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Jonathan Jones and Shaun Wade at the position.