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Going back to the offseason – and really to last season’s trade deadline – it seemed like a foregone conclusion the Patriots would trade Stephon Gilmore. A month ago, CBS Sports reported a Gilmore deal was ‘a foregone conclusion.’ However, after their free agency spending spree put the team into more of a ‘win now’ mode, it’s looking like Gilmore could return for 2021, and beyond.

Due to the Patriots restructuring his contract last summer, Gilmore is currently set to play for just $7 million in 2021. That would be a gross underpayment for a guy just a year removed from winning Defensive Player of the Year. Common consensus has been the 30-year-old will get a new contract extension this offseason. Whether that contract comes in New England, or elsewhere, has been the question.

According to SI’s Albert Breer, it’s not time to ‘rule out’ an extension between Gilmore and the Patriots. “I’m also told, for what it’s worth, that Gilmore would be very open to signing a new deal in New England,” Breer writes. He also cites a number of changes since October that a deal more likely from the Patriots’ point of view, such as Gilmore’s injury, the team’s revamped roster, and J.C. Jackson’s looming contract situation.

Of course, Gilmore being ‘very open’ to a new deal isn’t a guarantee he’ll stay, or even stay for cheap. If that was the case, he’d probably just play under the $7 million contract. But this new report makes it seem like there’s a concerted effort from both sides to have him stick around and close out the prime of his career with the Patriots.

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Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter 
@RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Patriots.