Fans in New England were living on cloud nine during the Patriots’ free agent spending spree, which ultimately saw them dole out over $250 million in contracts with potentially more to come over the next several weeks.
As reassuring as that splurge was after given where the Patriots finished in the standings last season, however, fans were left a little mystified that Stephon Gilmore came out the other side without a new-and-improved deal in place.
After all, nobody is expecting the Pro Bowl cornerback to play next campaign on the final year of his five-year, $65 million contract, which is slated to pay him just $7.3 million in 2021.
This leaves the Patriots with one of two options: work out a new deal or make him available via trade.
While pundits and fans been chewing over what New England’s intentions are, has anybody stopped to think how Gilmore is coping with all this uncertainty regarding his future?
In a real positive sign, he actually doesn’t appear to be too bothered by his contract situation.
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore opened up about his contract situation.
“That stuff will play out as it will,” Gilmore told Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. “I just try to take it day by day, and that’s all I can do.You’ve got to leave it in their hands. Of course, I know what type of player I am, what type of person I am. I let everything lay on its own.
“It’s out of my control. I’m just happy to be a Patriot right now, and see how it goes.”
Those comments prove Gilmore knows his worth and is in no rush to get this headache nipped in the bud in the immediate future, and nor should he. After all, we’re still two weeks away from the draft, meaning the Patriots have plenty of time to get their ducks in a row.
Speaking of which, it’s possible New England is waiting to see how things play out with fellow cornerback JC Jackson, who was hit with a second-round tender earlier this offseason. Teams have until April 23 (just eight days from now) to sign the former undrafted talent to an offer sheet.
If the Patriots don’t match a potential offer, they would let Jackson go and receive a second-round draft pick as a consolation price, for lack of a better term. If that were to happen, they would obviously have more incentive to sign Gilmore to a lucrative extension.
That isn’t to say we’re expecting Jackson to leave. It would be shocking if the Patriots let him walk after he tallied 40 tackles, nine interceptions (!), 14 passes defended, and three forced fumbles in 2020. We just don’t anticipate anything happening on the Gilmore front until that deadline.
Bottom line? Patriots fans can take solace in the fact that Gilmore is dealing with the trade rumors and contract extension uncertainty fairly well.
Despite coming off a season-ending quad injury, he appears to know he has most of the leverage here. And given his track record, which includes a Defensive Player of the Year award, an All-Pro nod, and three Pro Bowl selections over four seasons, fans would be hard-pressed to disagree with him.