The New England Patriots future has remained uncertain following losses in the offseason. A rebuild was a potential path they could've taken, and they definitely gave that option a thought. The greatest proof of this are reports that claim the Patriots explored trades involving Stephon Gilmore.
Gilmore's contract ends after 2021, meaning they don't have to trade him this season. The $5 million salary bump he received prior to week 1 also shows the Patriots are willing to pay Gilmore in order to keep him in New England. They were initially shopping Gilmore due to a lack of cap space, which is now not as much of a problem.
Gilmore captured the DPOY award and his second straight first-team All-Pro selection last season. He had six interceptions and 20 pass defenses, both ranked first in NFL, in addition to 53 tackles. This year he seems to be on track once again, already recording an interception, one pass defended, and five tackles. Penalties have been a problem so far, particularly pass interference, but that should slow down as the season continues.
The Patriots depth at the corner position does make it possible for a Gilmore trade. JC Jackson is a star-caliber player, and Jason McCourty has shown to be a crucial leader. Meanwhile, Joejuan Williams and Jonathan Jones have shown they can make an impact even with limited snaps.
A Gilmore trade would likely be for either picks or pass rushing help, but it is more likely the Patriots simply keep him. The Patriots are in prime position to make it back to the playoffs. Even if they only remain competitive for the next year or two, Gilmore is an important player to keep. The offense still can't be trusted, especially with the workload Cam has put onto himself, so its up to a Gilmore-led defense to keep them in most games.
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