As the 2020 season progressed, it grew ever clearer that Stephon Gilmore's days in New England may be numbered. There were reports early in the year that the Patriots explored trading the then-defending Defensive Player of the Year prior to restructuring his current contract and now CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported last week that "most GMs have considered it a foregone conclusion that the Patriots would trade" their No. 1 corner. As we possibly step closer to that fate, there has been a speed bump placed on the road.
According to Albert Breer of MMQB, Gilmore's quad injury that found him on IR and missing the final two games of the season is complicating what appeared to be a foregone conclusion that the 30-year-old would be dealt this offseason. Back in late December, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Gilmore's partially torn quad would only keep him out for some portion of the offseason program, suggesting that he'd be good to go for the 2021 regular season.
While that may still be the case, teams may be a bit more apprehensive to acquire a recovering Gilmore knowing that they'll also need to rework his contract. As things stand currently, he is entering the final year of his contract, which will pay him just $7 million in base salary for 2021. Gilmore will certainly want to have that number increased to a more respectable level, but New England doesn't seem like they will be the one handing him a new contract, hence the trade speculation. If moved, the Patriots would save $7.3 million in cap space.
On top of teams maybe being a bit wearier on making a splash for Gilmore given his health and a contract status in mind, it is curious to ponder what the Patriots may be asking for compensation. Back at the deadline, Dianna Russini of ESPN reported that GMs around the league felt that New England would only move Gilmore for a first-round pick and a player. That asking price likely has dipped since the 2020 season came to a close, but still noteworthy that he was held in such high regard in prior talks.
Gilmore has spent the last four seasons in Foxborough and was a key piece to New England's Super Bowl LIII title. In 11 games played in 2020, Gilmore totaled 37 tackles, three passes defended and one interception.