Despite winning Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, it doesn’t appear as though Stephon Gilmore will be a member of the New England Patriots much longer. The biggest and most successful free-agent signing of the Bill Belichick era has not played up to his usual standard this season. But given his impressive resume, the All-Pro corner could still fetch a nice return in a trade.
However, with rumors swirling about Gilmore’s future in New England, Belichick just lost all trade leverage for his $65 million star thanks to a Zillow listing.
Stephon Gilmore could be on the move
Bill Belichick surprised many when he signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract back in 2017. After all, the 2012 first-round pick had made just one Pro Bowl during his first five years in the NFL. Still, the Patriots showed no hesitation in poaching the talented cornerback from the division-rival Buffalo Bills.
Gilmore experienced some initial struggles in learning New England’s defense. However, he showed tremendous improvement during the second half of the season.
In 2018, he earned first-team All-Pro honors after recording two interceptions and 20 passes defended. He followed up with an even better campaign in 2019 that culminated in Defensive Player of the Year honors.
At 30 years old, Gilmore does not have many years of elite play left. In search of a raise, the Patriots did give him a $5 million pay bump back in September. Ultimately, though, given Belichick’s penchant for moving on from players a year early rather than a year late, it’s not surprising that Gilmore has been connected to trade rumors this year.
Bill Belichick just lost all trade leverage for the Patriots’ $65 million star
With the NFL trade deadline rapidly approaching, Bill Belichick does not have much time to find a new home for Stephon Gilmore. In fact, if the Patriots plan on moving their highly-paid corner, they will have to do so by 4 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Unfortunately for Belichick, he just lost all trade leverage for his biggest star. On Wednesday, The Greg Hill Show first reported via Twitter that Gilmore put his house on the market. What makes the story even more interesting is a small detail in the Zillow listing:
“All offers if any due on Tuesday, November 3rd @ 5PM.”
Of course, the NFL trade deadline occurs just one hour before the deadline to submit offers on Gilmore’s home.
Reading between the lines, it seems abundantly clear that the Patriots’ star defensive back does not plan on remaining in New England. The fact the offer deadline takes place on the same day as the NFL trade deadline only adds another layer of intrigue to the speculation surrounding his future with the team.
From Belichick’s perspective, the Patriots have far less leverage than they did before Wednesday. If other teams know Gilmore and the Patriots plan on parting ways, why would a general manager offer Belichick anything substantial in a trade? Will a GM really offer a first-round pick for a player on the wrong side of 30 who clearly has one foot out the door? At this point, Belichick may just have to find the highest bidder and bring a swift end to the Gilmore era.
Will Gilmore get dealt by the trade deadline?
Bill Belichick has never been afraid to make a bold move to shake up his team. It appears as though Stephon Gilmore will become the latest Patriots player to get shipped out of town before his contract expires.
But by imposing a deadline of his own, Gilmore has made it much more difficult for Belichick to find an enticing offer. If a team offers just a third-round pick, will he have to accept?
Perhaps the Patriots would be better suited trying to trade Gilmore for a player who can help them in the passing game. New England desperately needs to find impact players at tight end and wide receiver. Could trading Gilmore allow Belichick to address some of the team’s issues on offense?
Ultimately, Patriots fans shouldn’t expect to see No. 24 gracing the field at Gillette Stadium much longer. Let’s just see if Stephon Gilmore’s own deadline will impact Bill Belichick’s ability to get a decent return by Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.