Gilmore has signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Patriots, that includes $40 million in guaranteed money, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Gilmore was widely viewed as the top cornerback on the open market, so this is a nice scoop for the Patriots, who could lose Logan Ryan in free agency and may now consider moving Malcolm Butler. Gilmore, who the Bills selected 10th overall in the 2012 NFL draft, is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he recorded five picks and 48 tackles in 15 games, en route to earning his first Pro Bowl nod.
Gilmore expects to sign with New England, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Gilmore enjoyed a productive season as a shut-down corner for Buffalo in 2016, gathering a career-best five interceptions. After the Bills decided against placing the franchise tag on the 26-year-old, he'll instead head to their division rivals to provide a major boost to the secondary of the defending NFL champions. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport also confirms that this deal will happen.
The Bills chose not to use the franchise tag on Gilmore, who will now explore unrestricted free agency. "No we won't (use the tag) at this time," new coach Sean McDermott told BuffaloBills.com. "Stephon is a good player. He's done some really nice things for this organization. He has a good skill set. Stephon will become a free agent and he's going to explore his options at this time." Gilmore had his ups and downs in 2017, but he finished strong and he's generally regarded by most as a top 10 corner. He'll receive some lucrative offers as soon as free agency opens. With a new regime in town for the Bills, it looks like they'll choose to spend their money on positions of greater need, such as safety, wide receiver, or even quarterback.
Gilmore, who missed the Week 17 loss due to a concussion, is seeking top money this offseason and does not want to receive the franchise tag, BuffaloBills.com reports. "I don't think anybody really wants the tag," said Gilmore. "I wouldn't want it, but it is what it is... if it happens." Gilmore's status is completely up in the air with a new coaching regime about to take over. He entered the 2016 season as one of the top cornerbacks in the game, but got burned enough this season where that has cast a little more doubt on how much the Bills or any other team will want to pony up to land the veteran. Gilmore's 1-on-1 skills are right up there with the best of them and he did finish the season strong, so we'll see what the situation brings in the coming months. He finishes the 2016 campaign -- his fifth as a pro -- with 48 tackles, 12 passes defensed, and a career-high five interceptions.
Gilmore (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday's game at the Jets. Gilmore suffered the concussion late in the Week 16 loss to the Dolphins, and he'll now miss his only game of the season. He'll finish with 48 tackles and a career-high five picks, while the Bills (and whatever their new coaching staff looks) like will decide this offseason whether to offer him what would be a huge contract.