Stephon Gilmore: House went up for sale because 'I just wanted to move to the city'

Phil Perry
·4 min read

Perry: Why Gilmore put his Foxboro house up for sale originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

At least he answered the question.

Whether you choose to take it on its face is up to you, but Stephon Gilmore provided a brief explanation as to why his home went up for sale -- with a deadline for offers set for immediately after the NFL's trade deadline.

"I just wanted to move to the city," Gilmore said. "I like the city . . . That's why I made that decision."

Gilmore's standing with the Patriots has been a topic of conversation since before the season began. He missed a portion of training camp with what was described by those close to him as a "personal matter," but soon thereafter was handed a $5 million advance in addition to the base salary he'd already been scheduled to receive.

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Calling it an "advance," though, is more accurate than calling it a "raise" since the $5 million bump was pulled from his 2021 salary. While Gilmore is still a bargain value as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on his post-adjustment $13 million base salary for 2020, he's now set to play for an even more cost-effective salary of $7 million next year.

That adjustment has loomed over Gilmore's recent three-game absence from the field. And it came into greater focus when a) Gilmore's name popped up as a candidate to be traded ahead of the deadline and b) when his home was there for all to see on Redfin.com.

Was Gilmore looking to end up elsewhere where he might get a long-term commitment? Was he trying to protect himself prior to pushing for a new deal this coming offseason?

Gilmore tried to put that speculation -- that he was protecting himself with an eye toward the future -- to rest on Friday afternoon.

"I wasn't physically ready to play these last couple weeks," he explained. "Things happen. Gotta adjust to it. Nothing would keep me off the field from playing with my teammates. That's one thing that stuck with me. I'm just happy that I'm progressing and getting better."

Gilmore added that he felt "pretty good" following Friday's practice, and that he was "preparing like I'm going to play this week." He did not, however, say definitively that he would be available in Houston on Sunday afternoon.

Gilmore has missed each of the last three games after suffering a knee injury at Patriots practice. Bill Belichick acknowledged on Friday morning that -- while Gilmore has been an exemplary teammate behind the scenes in working to get healthy and helping others prepare to play when he couldn't -- the Patriots would have considered placing him on injured reserve to free up a roster spot had they known that his injury was going to lead to a three-week hiatus from game action. (The minimum number of games a player placed on IR is forced to miss in 2020 is three.)

"Well, I think if we had known he would have been out for a certain period of time, then that would have been an option," Belichick said. "But, as I said, he’s worked hard to get back and he's making good progress. We'll see how things go here this week and next week and so forth and see where it takes us."

Gilmore addresses health ahead of Texans matchup

It'd come as little surprise if Gilmore saw himself going elsewhere before the deadline. But he's in New England for the foreseeable sooner, and he's saying all the right things.

When asked if he envisioned himself being part of the organization long term, he directed the question to the team's front office and said he was happy where he was.

"That's a question you gotta ask the organization," Gilmore said. "The only thing I can do every day is just come to work and prepare and try to give my best each and every week. There's some stuff you can't control in life. You just gotta go out there and enjoy yourself.

"We've got great coaches here. We've got great players. We've got young players here that are getting better and better. I'm just enjoying the moment. I love being here. I love the culture. I'm happy that I'm a Patriot."