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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 21: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Buffalo Bills in the game at Gillette Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Stephon Gilmore is bubbling back to the surface in trade rumors around the NFL. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano reminded readers to “watch” Gilmore on the trade market this offseason.

Here’s what they said on Gilmore as part of a big-picture look at the NFL offseason:

And Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore, with one year left at $7 million — a bargain for a Defensive Player of the Year less than 13 months ago — is a name to watch. His name made the speculative rounds during the trade deadline in October.

Gilmore is on the books for only $7 million next season. It would be surprising if he actually played under that number. But maybe that’s what Gilmore meant by “sacrifice” with that cryptic tweet. Or maybe he’s sacrificing paychecks, once it comes time to either show up or hold out.

If the Patriots trade Gilmore, it may require the cornerback’s new team to give him a raise in the form of a new extension. Gilmore is too talented and accomplished to actually play for that number, so it’s likely he’d be able to force the hand of whoever’s signing his checks.

Expect the Stephon Gilmore trade rumors to only ramp up as the Patriots' offseason continues. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Expect the Stephon Gilmore trade rumors to only ramp up as the Patriots’ offseason continues. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Gilmore and the Patriots are certainly one of the more interesting situations in the NFL, from a trade rumors standpoint. We are talking about the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and someone who would likely carry real value around the league, even if it means he needs to get paid. Look at it this way: if Gilmore became a free agent today, someone’s going to hand him a big ol’ bag o’ cash.

So this won’t be the last time we hear a Gilmore trade rumor. Bill Belichick has plenty on his plate as far as adding to the roster and retooling at major spots for 2021. What he does with Gilmore is a major thread of that.

MORE: What does the future hold for Stephon Gilmore?

Alex Barth and I talked at length about Gilmore and the Patriots’ situation during the season, and not much has changed in terms of trading him during the offseason. Have a listen below.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.