The New England Patriots are releasing former All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The two parties had discussed a restructured contract but could not come to terms. Schefter adds that "multiple teams are expected to be interested."
Gilmore began the season on the PUP list and was not eligible to play until Week 7. The cornerback suffered a torn quad in Week 15 and elected to undergo surgery. In the meantime, he had been seeking additional financial compensation from the organization in the final year of his deal.
In a social media post, Gilmore thanked Patriots fans and the organization for their support:
"It is with mixed emotions that I announce goodbye to this great fan base. We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements. Thank you for supporting this Rock Hill kid and allowing him to achieve his NFL dreams," he continued.
"To Mr. Kraft, the coaches, and the organization thank you for providing me with this platform and allowing me to be part of greatness. Most of all I want to thank my teammates who lined up next to me every Sunday with one goal in mind. Those moments on and off the field will never be forgotten."
The South Carolina native and former Gamecocks star was taken by the Bills with the No. 10 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the team before signing with the rival Patriots as a free agent.
Gilmore's decorated career includes recognition as the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time first-team All-Pro, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl LVIII champion.
He played in 11 games last season, recording 37 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception and three pass deflections.
The Patriots are off to an uncharacteristic 1-3 start following Sunday's loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. They travel to Houston to play the Texans in Week 5. Schefter noted that the team was roughly $54,000 under the salary cap and "needed financial flexibility."