Patriots

Despite minicamp holdout, pair of NFL insiders believe Stephon Gilmore’s situation with Patriots won’t become ‘acrimonious’

Gilmore has one year and $7.3 million remaining on his contract.

Stephon Gilmore
Stephon Gilmore has one year left on his current deal. Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore held out of mandatory minicamp, continuing to raise questions on whether his time in New England will last for much longer.

While Gilmore’s been in trade rumors dating back to the 2020 regular season, a pair of ESPN NFL reporters don’t think Gilmore is looking to leave New England. Rather, they believe Gilmore missed minicamp as a ploy to get a pay increase from the Patriots.

“Cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn’t report to mandatory minicamp, and while some holdouts can become acrimonious, my sense on Gilmore’s mindset is different,” ESPN Patriots beat reporter Mike Reiss wrote in his Sunday notes column. “He seems to enjoy being a Patriot, is open to sticking around, and this was his least-expensive-but-most-decisive way of sparking more productive contract talks with the team, so he can feel better about being part of New England’s present and future.”

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Fellow ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler co-signed Reiss’s assessment of the Gilmore situation.

“Patriots haven’t made moves to replace Gilmore (want to go into [Week 4] against [Tom] Brady without him?),” Fowler added in a tweet. “Contract talks later this summer could be productive.”

Gilmore, who originally signed a five-year, $65 million deal with the Patriots in 2017, is on the final year of his contract and is due $7.3 million this season. Prior to the start of the 2020 season, the Patriots increased Gilmore’s salary for that year from $10.5 million to $15.5 million, shrinking his salary for the 2021 season in the process.

After winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, Gilmore recorded just one interception in 2020. He tested positive for COVID-19 in October but didn’t miss time. Gilmore missed three games due to a knee injury and saw his season end in Week 15 when he suffered a partially torn quad.

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