New England Patriots

Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots leaves the field after the Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 in the game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth,

According to numerous reports, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be named the 2019 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year at Saturday night’s NFL Honors.

Gilmore was targeted 65 times in 2019 (according to PFF), allowing just 35 catches and only one touchdown. He finished the season tied for the league lead with six interceptions, and broke up an NFL-best 20 passes.

Centered around Gilmore’s effort, the Patriots led the league allowing just 275.9 yards per game in 2019, with only 180.4 coming through the air. They also paced the league allowing just 14.1 points per game. The next closest team was the Buffalo Bills, who allowed 16.2. Their 25 interceptions were most of any team in the NFL.

Gilmore becomes the first ever Patriot to win the award, and the first cornerback since Charles Woodson in 2009. He joins Woodson and Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, Lester Hays, and Mel Blount as the only cornerbacks to be named AP DPOTY since the award was instituted in 1971.

Gilmore’s teammate Tom Brady was quick to show his support on his Instagram account.

The awards will formally be announced at Saturday night’s NFL Honors ceremony in Miami. Other notable winners announced early include Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill as Comeback Player of the Year, Saints receiver Mike Thomas as Offensive Player of the Year, and Niners defensive lineman Nick Bosa as Defensive Rookie of the year. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Fox and will be hosted by Steve Harvey for the second straight year.