Rumors have emerged regarding the possibility of the Patriots trading cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Coach Bill Belichick was asked about the rumors on Wednesday.
As usual, Belichick didn’t have much to say.
“Yeah, I don’t know anything about those,” Belichick said.
Some think there’s reason to consider it because there’s been some slippage in his play, and because Belichick has a long history of moving on from a player one year too early than one year too late.
“Steph works hard,” Belichick said regarding Gilmore’s performance in single coverage against the other team’s best receiver. “He’s always ready to go. We’ve changed up what he does based on our game plan and who we’re matched up against, the team we’re playing that particular week. But he’s a very flexible player that understands what we’re trying to do and how it all fits together and works hard to do his part in it.”
At times (like against the Seahawks and receiver DK Metcalf), Gilmore has struggled in single coverage. Belichick was asked whether other teams are attacking Gilmore this year.
“I don’t know,” Belichick said. “I think you’d have to ask those teams what their game plan was and all that, but he’s in single coverage a lot. The teams we play, they’ve thrown the ball to a lot of different people. So I don’t know. I wouldn’t say it’s going to any one particular guy.”
Regardless, some will wonder whether Belichick is willing to move Gilmore now, getting what he can before any potential decline in Gilmore’s play becomes more obvious. With the Lions becoming uncharacteristic buyers as the trade deadline approaches, maybe they’ll make a move for the 2019 NFL defensive player of the year.