Patriots release former Bills’ first-round pick Stephon Gilmore

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Stephon Gilmore could be moving out of the AFC East for the first time in his career soon. He at least has one foot out of the door already.

On Wednesday in a bit of a surprise, the Patriots and Gilmore acknowledged that the two sides have decided to go their separate ways. The cornerback was released.

Gilmore, 31, began his NFL career as a first-round pick of the Bills in 2012. After the fifth-year option was picked up on his rookie contract by the team, Gilmore did not find a long-term extension with the Bills.

Instead as a free agent after the 2016 season, Gilmore jumped ship in the division to the Pats. That offseason was the same one that current Bills head coach Sean McDermott was hired.

Gilmore eventually landed a five-year, $65 million contract from the Pats.

Despite that dollar figure, that’s part of the reason he’s no longer with the Patriots.

Gilmore wanted to be paid amongst the best cornerbacks in the NFL… this season. The Patriots and the defensive back could not come to an agreement on a deal and the team was in dire need of salary cap space as well.

Releasing Gilmore gave the Pats $5.8 million in cap space. Previously, they almost had none:

In addition to the contract negotiation not working out, Gilmore had also been sidelined.

Gilmore injured his quad last season and was placed on the PUP list. He had not been playing at all so far in 2021.

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