Most general managers believe it’s a foregone conclusion that the Patriots will trade star cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason, according to CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora.
Gilmore – who was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 – had a turbulent 2020, as he tested positive for COVID-19, dealt with a leg injury, and ended up playing in just 11 games on the season.
With the Patriots struggling, and Gilmore’s production dwindling, his name started surfacing as a potential centerpiece in a trade. Nothing materialized last year, but La Canfora is confident it’s just a matter of time.
“I haven’t heard anything about a contract extension,” La Canfora wrote, “so a trade still seems like an eventuality.”
La Canfora said the 30-year-old Gilmore will “garner plenty of interest,” and he listed the Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and New York Giants as potential destinations. He projected a specific trade in which Gilmore joins the Browns in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 fourth-round pick.
Gilmore is entering the final year of his deal with the Patriots and is set to hit the team’s salary cap for $15 million in 2021. La Canfora indicated that the Patriots may not be in a position to give him what he desires.
He called Gilmore one of the best corners in the league – arguably the best – and said the Patriots should be able to get “a quality piece or two” in return. It’s possible a trade could happen soon, and also realistic something could materialize around the NFL Draft in late April-early May.
“If they’re not interested in offering him another multi-year deal to his liking — trying to get assets in return for losing him makes sense,” La Canfora said.
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