Patriots

Albert Breer: Patriots unlikely to extend Stephon Gilmore

The Sports Illustrated NFL writer said the Patriots are more likely to offer a "one-year bump" to the 30-year-old Gilmore than a multi-year extension.

Stephon Gilmore Patriots
Stephon Gilmore. Bobby Ellis/Getty Images
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For all the drama Patriots training camp will bring starting next week, one situation seemingly came closer to be being settled when Stephon Gilmore officially reported to Foxborough for training camp Thursday.

Gilmore was noted as present with other Patriots veterans at camp according to multiple reports and will begin the summer on the “physically unable to perform” (PUP) list while recovering from the quad tear that ended his 2020 season.

The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year opted not to hold out further after missing voluntary OTAs and mandatory minicamp despite not yet receiving a new contract.

Sports Illustrated NFL writer Albert Breer told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich Show the reason for Gilmore’s softened stance is simple.

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“I think the thought process is, ‘I don’t want to get fined $50,000 a day,'” he said during his Friday morning appearance. “I think the thinking was, ‘I’m going to show up. I’m going to show them where I am health-wise. Then I’m going to sit down. I’m going to wait. I’m going to take my time. I’m going to let this heal, and I’m going to let my agent do his job.”

He added that losing $50,000 a day, in addition to the upwards of $93,000 he already lost for skipping mandatory minicamp, would undermine his ultimate cause: securing a pay raise going into his final year with the Patriots.

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His ultimate proximity to that goal remains uncertain.

Breer reported earlier this week that the two sides have made “no recent progress” on either a contract extension or a one-year bump that would increase Gilmore’s pay from the roughly $7 million he’s scheduled in 2021.

He reiterated that lack of progress Friday morning but said his sense is that the team is willing to work with their defensive lynchpin on a new deal.

“I think the Patriots also know — and this is Stephon Gilmore’s leverage right here — all that money that Bill Belichick spent (this offseason)…that entire effort is undermined if Steph Gilmore isn’t in the building,” the NFL insider said.

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Still, while Breer thinks Gilmore isn’t crazy to ask for a “Darius Slay”-type contract extension (3 years, $50.05 million extension with $30.05 million guaranteed), he said a one-year pay bump with some “achievable incentives” may be more likely for the soon-to-be-31-year-old cornerback given his age and injury history.

On that note, he relayed from a source that Gilmore “isn’t 100 percent” healthy but that “he’s getting there.”

“He’ll be ready for the opener, if that’s what you’re asking,” Breer said. “Do I think he’s going to milk the injury as a negotiating tactic? Yeah, I think he probably will. And I think it’s fair, too, because if you’re him and you’re looking at this, that window to earn money as a pro football player, it’s closing on him.”

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