As he holds out for a new contract with the Patriots, Stephon Gilmore comes in peace.
Based on a new report in Mike Reiss’ Sunday column at ESPN.com, Gilmore’s current holdout is not a particularly hostile one. The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year went on the record with the Boston Globe in April to say he’s “happy to be a Patriot right now” and that the contract issue “will play out as it will.” Reiss’ read on the situation is that Gilmore did want to get the Pats’ attention in contract talks by holding out, but ultimately wants to stay in New England
“Cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn’t report to mandatory minicamp, and while some holdouts can become acrimonious, my sense on Gilmore’s mindset is different. He seems to enjoy being a Patriot, is open to sticking around, and this was his least-expensive-but-most-decisive way of sparking more productive contract talks with the team, so he can feel better about being part of New England’s present and future.”
Gilmore is on the books for a base salary of just $7 million in 2021, one of the biggest bargains in the National Football League and a holdout-worthy number for a player of Gilmore’s caliber. He remains arguably the Patriots’ best overall player in the post-Tom Brady era, and an indispensable anchor of the defense.
A possible comp for a Gilmore extension with the Patriots could be Darius Slay, who signed with the Eagles for three years and $50.05 million, including $30 million guaranteed and an average cash value of over $16 million. The deal kicks in for 2021, Slay’s age-30 season.
The Patriots may ultimately decide that Gilmore, 30, is not going to be worth the money he may command in an extension, particularly on the back end of it. If that were the case, the Gilmore trade once described as a “foregone conclusion” would be the logical end to this saga. And the Patriots secondary would take as big a hit to the roster as one could imagine.
MORE: What’s next for Stephon Gilmore, Patriots?
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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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 and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.