Report: Stephon Gilmore ‘very open’ to signing extension with Patriots

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Isaiah Houde
·3 min read
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Stephon Gilmore’s future has been extremely murky since the end of the last season.

The 31-year-old is entering the final year on his five-year, $65 million contract but he’s only due $7 million for 2021. It’s been made clear that Gilmore won’t play for such a low price tag and it also makes sense to trade him this offseason to get the maximum value. For these reasons, along with his age, it seemed likely that Bill Belichick would let him go. It also didn’t make sense to extend Gilmore’s contract if the Patriots were to look like the 7-9 team they were last season.

But, the Patriots revamped the roster this offseason and could very likely be in contention for a deep playoff run. It would make much more sense now to give Gilmore slightly more money on an extension and keep the 2019 Defense Player of the Year around.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Gilmore is very open to signing a deal with the Patriots. Here’s what Breer said in his column on Monday.

I wouldn’t rule out a Stephon Gilmore … extension. I do believe it’s unlikely that Gilmore plays the 2020 season for $7 million, which is what he’s on the books for. And I think, as an acknowledgment of that, and on the heels of a very newsworthy couple weeks, the Patriots will at least explore the idea of extending Gilmore. Could they still trade him? Sure. Was moving $4.5 million from 2021 to 2020 in his deal—the contractual equivalent of a cash advance—an acknowledgement on both sides that the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year was probably going to be seeking his final big NFL payday somewhere else in 2021? At the time, it was. But a couple things have changed since.

First, Gilmore got hurt, and his torn quad makes it tougher for the Patriots to get fair value in a trade, and tougher for another team to make a long-term commitment. Second, the Patriots roster are a lot closer to being a contender than they were two months ago, with Dont’e Hightower back off his 2020 opt-out, and high-end, in-their-prime free agents Matthew Judon, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith joining the roster, in addition to complementary pieces like Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Bottom line: If the Patriots think Gilmore has, say, three more good years left in him (and they know better than anyone else how the 30-year-old has taken care of his body) and they don’t want to pay promising young corner J.C. Jackson like a premier DB, you can certainly see where it’d make sense. I’m also told, for what it’s worth, that Gilmore would be very open to signing a new deal in New England.

The Patriots placed a second-round tender on Jackson, meaning they could lose him if another team signs him to an offers sheet and New England doesn’t match. Jason McCourty is still an unrestricted free agent — so the Patriots could potentially be slim at cornerback.

New England is clearly much better off with Gilmore leading the secondary, so it’s hard to believe a deal won’t transpire