Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore has a 2021 base salary of $7 million. He wants more. He deserves more. He’s trying to get more, but Gilmore’s agents and the team have yet to strike a deal.
Via Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com, Gilmore’s camp “seems to be eying Darius Slay’s three-year, $50 million extension.” That’s an annual average of $16.67 million.
Gilmore, the 2019 defensive player of the year, has superior skills to Slay. However, Gilmore turns 31 on September 19; he could be on the verge of seeing his abilities begin to diminish.
Last year, the Patriots moved $4.5 million of Gilmore’s 2021 salary to 2020. Typically, that results in the player getting a new deal in lieu of playing for a reduced salary in the following year. And the Patriots seem to be willing to do something with Gilmore’s contract; however, if it was enough from Gilmore’s perspective the deal would be done.
A trade presumably is on the table for Gilmore. A new team would have to be willing to pay Gilmore what he wants, too — and to satisfy the Patriots with an appropriate trade offer.
For now, the Patriots have both Gilmore and J.C. Jackson at a combined salary of $10.3 million in 2021, which is one hell of a bargain. Both become free agents after the season. If the Patriots had to choose one or the other, who would it be?
If the Patriots opt for the younger player, the question becomes whether to figure out how to keep Gilmore happy for a year or to trade him. Then there’s the question of the value the Patriots would get in trade versus the potential compensatory draft-pick consideration, if Gilmore leaves in 2022.
However it unfolds, it’s a delicate situation for the Patriots. They hold the contractual cards. None of that matters if Gilmore won’t show up. For now, during mandatory minicamp, he isn’t. The next step comes when it’s time to show up for training camp.