But now the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year has explicitly said the words.
Speaking to reporter Josina Anderson on Friday, Gilmore made it clear that his objective is to be paid his market value. He’s currently slated to make a $7 million base salary for 2021.
“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore told Anderson. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.”
However, Gilmore is not currently pushing for a trade out of New England.
“Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated,” Gilmore said. “I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on myself and make sure I’m good mentally and physically.”
For the latter of those two categories, Gilmore did have offseason surgery to repair his partially-torn quad. He played only 11 games last season.
“I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt since the surgery. I’ve been running a lot, building full speed,” Gilmore said. He may or may not be ready for training camp, though, saying, “We’ll see; if I need to be. But I also don’t want to push it.”
Reporting as of mid-June indicated that there was no significant progress between Gilmore and the Patriots for a new deal. Perhaps Gilmore’s comments on Friday can push the situation to a resolution before training camps begin at the end of the month — whether Gilmore re-signs with New England or ends up elsewhere via trade.