Should the Patriots trade Stephon Gilmore?


Stephon Gilmore is a stud in arguably the most important position on an NFL defense.

Good faith stopping corners like him don’t happen as often as playoff appearances from Tom brady.

The Patriots, however, must decide what to do with Gilmore, who is in the final year of his five-year, $ 65 million contract.

Currently, Gilmore is expected to earn $ 7 million next season, but he also wears a cap of $ 16.262 million, per Over The Cap.

So, should they keep it at the risk of losing it for nothing next year, extend it to lower its 2021 cap or trade it?

All of these scenarios are on the table as the Patriots sink into an offseason like few others Bill Belichickthe watch. The hoodie needs to revamp and revitalize a team that didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons.

What ultimately happens with Gilmore should help set the course for the 2021 season and beyond.

The veterans’ corner turns 31 in September. He just finished a season where he missed five games due to injury and COVID-19, and was not quite the same player as the year before, when he won the player title. defensive end of the year.

Still, Gilmore remains among the best in his position. And, in that context, he’s the Patriots’ best trading chip.

While the first tilt would be to extend his contract, especially if the Pats foresee a quick rebuild, Gilmore’s greatest value could be as a trading piece to help acquire the most important piece of this turnaround – a quarterback. .

By trading Gilmore, the Patriots may be able to earn enough assets to help them progress through the draft and land a player they believe will be their next quarterback in the franchise. Or maybe he’s part of a deal to acquire said quarterback. In this context, treating Gilmore makes sense.

The quarterback is so important.

At least it’s a scenario worth making a trade for him. And, in my opinion, the only one.

Other scenarios aren’t as appealing, considering the downside of losing your best defensive player a year before hitting free agency.

While the ceiling space gain would be around $ 7.3 million according to Over The Cap, the Patriots would also assume $ 8.9 million in dead money. So we also have to weigh that.

The point here is not to dump him for the sake of him and his contract. There must be a method behind the madness.

Reaching a quarterback is the best reason.

Other than that, keeping Gilmore is a big part of the Patriots’ solution going forward.

SiriusXM NFL Analyst Solomon Wilcots agreed that other than using Gilmore to some extent to land a quarterback, the Patriots shouldn’t be in a rush to deal with him.

“The Patriots can’t play their defense without having someone like Stephon Gilmore,” Wilcots said. “He’s the backbone of everything they do. He’s not the vanguard, not Mike’s linebacker. It’s him.”

As we saw last season, JC Jackson is not quite ready for this role. He’s a formidable No.2 turn, but he has a way to go to achieve leader status.

Even with his above-average level of coverage – 72.2 according to Pro Football Focus – and 17 picks over three seasons, he struggled to take on the leading role when Gilmore didn’t play.

Stefon Diggs roughed up Jackson pretty well in Week 15 when the Patriots were crushed by the Bills. Hall of Fame Corner Ty law told me in November that replacing Gilmore would be a tall order.

“You can’t expect Jackson or whoever to go out there and do the same things Stephon Gilmore did. These are great shoes to fill, ”Law said. “There aren’t a lot of people who can play one-on-one like him. It is not a plug and play position. He is who he is. He’s a special talent.

“JC isn’t here yet,” Law continued. “He’s a strong young cornerback. You can’t put it in the same category as Stephon. It’s unfair to him.

It’s possible the Patriots could draft a future stoppage wedge to help mitigate Gilmore’s loss. Or Jackson will eventually take the next step and grow in the position.

Recently, Cleveland was mentioned as a possible landing point for Gilmore in a business. But if they only get a few cents on the dollar, it doesn’t make sense to move it. In November, it didn’t look like the Patriots would be ready to settle down. According to ESPN Dianna russini, teams inquiring about Gilmore last year were told the cost of the quadruple Pro Bowler would be a first-round pick and one player.

Translation: It will take a ransom to move it.

While it seems almost inevitable, the two sides will go their separate ways once Gilmore hits free agency in 2022, the Patriots would still get a compensatory pick if they choose to keep him this season.

Gilmore naturally wants to be paid and still wants a big paycheck. Playing for $ 7 million this season probably won’t be very good. In fact, he got a raise last year, but it came at the expense of his 2021 salary.

In January, Gilmore tweeted, “2021 will be an interesting year.”

Then, after a brief absence from Twitter, we came back with another cryptic tweet this month: “If I wasn’t sacrificing I wouldn’t be where I am now, so I’m going to keep sacrificing.”

The question is, where will this ultimately happen?

Law, who was released in 2005 from his cap of $ 12.5 million, did not want to draw parallels with Gilmore. He simply categorized it as a business decision on both sides.

“(The Patriots) do their business a certain way, and Stephon has to do business for himself. Hopefully they find a way to do it and see the value in him, ”Law said. “But it depends if they’re in rebuild mode or if they’re trying to grab another championship. I think that will determine a lot, as far as what happens with Stephon, whether they sign him for a new contract or trade him.

Wilcots agreed.

“He still has the ability. This guy was defensive player of the year a year ago, ”said Wilcots. “He was that, and can still be, so what do we do? Is it all a question of savings? If you plan to win this year, you are not going to win without this position. ”

The Brady Chronicles

In a video conference with the media Wednesday, Bucs GM Jason licht was asked about Brady’s contribution to the decision-making process.

Licht said the degree of contribution towards Brady had been overstated to some extent, although he did not dismiss the idea that he and Bruce arians consult the GOAT occasionally.

Obviously, with the two Rob gronkowski and Antonio brown landing in Tampa, there had to be a nudge from Brady.

“I would say Bruce and I are talking to Tom. Why not you, with the CV he has? Licht said. “But, I think with Tom it gets a bit over the top. Tom doesn’t knock on the door saying, “We have to sign this guy, we have to sign this guy, Bruce, we have to recruit this guy.”

“We sometimes ask his opinion. Sometimes he gives us his opinion, but he never demands anything. It has actually been a joy to work with him, so I think that’s a bit of a stretch. We like to design with him on some things, just like Bruce does with the Game Plan, but there’s never been any animosity or direction from him. In fact, most of the things that we do, we don’t consult.

But having Brady give a voice, and a welcome voice, has proven to be productive on both sides.

In terms of their many free agents, which include a large receiver Chris Godwin, as well as linebacker Lavonte David, outside linebacker Shaq Barrett and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who could be on the Patriots’ radar, Arians said the top priority was to keep the first seven intact.

“For me, it’s always keeping the defense together,” Arians said. “And then what will remain, we will score enough points. It’s a question for me to keep the defense as strong as possible.

Regarding the hometown pay cuts, the Arians stressed that no one wanted to take a pay cut. It’s more about restructuring contracts and transferring money afterwards.

“Nobody gives up on money,” Arians said. “It’s a sure thing. They don’t give up, they just push it in a different direction to help the ceiling. But we are in great shape. Jason and (director of football administration) Mike Greenberg did a great job of keeping us in a good place that way. It always comes down to dollars and cents, but also adapting. Guys know where they are. I think these guys all know they match here. We will get the money we need and hopefully keep this core together.

Mariota, victim of the cap?

There was a report Thursday by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport that commercial interest in the Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota had cooled.

But cooled enough for the Raiders to release him?

Mariota’s contract appears to be the deciding factor with teams inquiring about.

With the Patriots reportedly kicking the tires on everyone, they were probably in the mix.

Mariota is expected to earn a base salary of $ 10.625 million with a cap of $ 11.35 million.

The problem?

The incentives in the contract more than double his pay if he leaves in 2021, which is probably why the teams have backed off.

If the Raiders can’t strike a deal, they may have to release the 27-year-old quarterback.

For what it’s worth, Mariota is the betting favorite to be the Starter of Week 1 at Foxboro. The situation therefore deserves to be monitored.

Quarterback tales

As for the 49ers GM John lynch, and its recent approval of Jimmy garoppolo, Take it with a grain of salt.

Don’t think he’s lying, per se. Right now, Jimmy G is the guy from the Niners. And given his track record with the team, it makes sense to stay loyal to Garoppolo

The Lions have said relatively the same with Matthew stafford before exchanging it. Ditto the Eagles with Carson Wentz.

Now, it’s doubtful Lynch’s first plan is to trade Jimmy G. He wants a better save for his injury-prone starter. It makes sense.

But, if anything should develop on the road, the door is open. This is the conclusion of Lynch’s statement.

Russell wilson?

The news about him was that he didn’t necessarily want to get out of Seattle, but then provided a list of places he would go.

Like Garoppolo, Wilson has a no-trade clause, so he would have the final say on any deal.

But it feels more like a bluff on Wilson’s part.

Wilcots said: “Nothing is going to happen. He’s not going anywhere, I don’t think he wants to go anywhere. But I think he watched and saw what Tom Brady did in Tampa… the players want more voices. He wants to be a part of it, just like Tom was this year. So I think it’s a snap to put pressure on the operation controls to include it in the process.


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