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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)

Stephon Gilmore trade talks bubbled back to the surface before the start of the 2021 season, but a deal wasn’t necessarily imminent.

According to Jeff Howe at The Athletic, Gilmore’s “name again arose in trade circles” before the Patriots placed the star cornerback on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list to begin the season. However, another source told Howe that the Pats “have never been close to trading Gilmore.”

But just the mere mention of Gilmore in trade discussions would indicate some level of interest on both sides. There are obvious roadblocks to a Gilmore trade, his contract issues and recovery from quad surgery chief among them. It seems that the Patriots and potential suitors are too far away on the price tag to really make a trade materialize.

Gilmore may be the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-Pro, but he is now 30 years old and, despite being months removed from surgery, is coming off a serious injury and the type that tends to linger. It’s hard to believe that many teams would even be willing to give Gilmore the type of contract extension that Darius Slay got with the Eagles (three years, $50.1 million). Slay arrived in Philadelphia having missed only six games in as many years from 2014-19 with the Lions.

All things considered, the most likely outcome seems to be that Gilmore returns in Week 7 and plays under his current $7 million price tag, or gets an appreciable pay bump from the Patriots before hitting the open market in 2022. If Gilmore does get the kind of extension he seems to desire, it would have to be based on his pedigree and not his most recent performance.

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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 mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.