The New England Patriots are in the midst of Day 2 of their mandatory minicamp. For the second day in a row, those workouts will be conducted without star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is holding out amid a contract dispute. The former Defensive Player of the Year -- who is entering the final year of his contract -- is set to make a base salary of just $7 million next season, which is below the current market value for a player of his caliber, thus sparking the holdout.
Those figures have been at the forefront of the conversation surrounding Gilmore for quite some time, which is why minicamp was a key mile marker to judge how both sides would be approaching this issue. While it may not be surprising that he's absent with no new deal agreed upon, it's certainly noteworthy. Prior to Monday's session, Belichick was asked whether or not Gilmore would be present and the head coach deflected by noting that they didn't take attendance upon arrival. With it becoming clear that Gilmore was missing in action when the Patriots hit the field for that day's practice, the floodgates surrounding this holdout opened.
When asked about it again on Tuesday and whether or not it was an excused absence, Belichick simply acknowledged that he doesn't expect Gilmore throughout New England's minicamp.
"I don't expect him to be here, and we'll just focus on the guys who are here," he said.
As you may have expected, Belichick didn't dive much deeper into the Gilmore impasse than that. With New England going on the summer break following minicamp, the next time we'll see if the corner will enter the team facility would be training camp. If he doesn't have a new deal by that point, however, it wouldn't be shocking to see that absence continue later this summer.
For the Patriots, they really have three options at their disposal. One, the team could continue to play chicken with Gilmore, keep him at his current contract and see if he's willing to sit out into the regular season because of it. Second, they could come to terms on a multi-year extension that gets him to a more respectable level in salary. Finally, they could look to trade him to a club that is willing to pay him the amount he desires. Which way will that ultimately fall? Only time will tell.