New England Patriots

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)

Here’s your latest reminder that on top of everything else, the Patriots likely have to decide whether to extend or trade Stephon Gilmore.

According to a new story by Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports, “most NFL GMs” believe it’s a “foregone conclusion” that a Gilmore trade will take place at some point during the 2021 offseason. La Canfora himself described a potential Gilmore trade as an “eventuality.”

The Gilmore decision isn’t nearly as urgent as the quarterback position, where the Patriots’ trade options are dwindling ahead of free agency. There’s no significant financial benefit to trading Gilmore and his well-below-market $7 million salary. Gilmore shouldn’t, and probably won’t, play under that number.

But the Patriots have plenty of time to decide whether they want to keep Gilmore a few more years and grant him a lucrative extension. With depth and legit talent at cornerback behind Gilmore, perhaps Bill Belichick decides the Patriots are better off trading him for strong draft capital or swapping him for a player of similar talent level at another position. They also may need to find a team that won’t make the deal unless they have assurance that Gilmore will sign a long-term extension.

For these reasons, there is a chance that a Gilmore trade doesn’t happen until the draft. But the reality is, it could happen at any time between now and the start of the 2021 season. The Patriots would save the same amount of money regardless of the timing of the move. But the important thing to know is that around the league, a Gilmore trade remains heavily rumored – pretty much expected.

Check out the Patriots’ internal free-agent situation below.

MORE: Patriots’ Key Internal Free Agents

MORE: Stephon Gilmore Sends Cryptic Tweet About ‘Sacrifice’

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 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 and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at