Stephon Gilmore, 30, is entering the final year of the five-year, $65 million contract he signed with the Patriots back in 2017. He’s slated to earn a mere $7 million base salary in 2021 with a whopping $16.24 million cap hit for the Patriots.
This has led to speculation that New England will trade Gilmore. That dates back to the NFL trade deadline last November. Short of the two sides working out a contract extension, the expectation is that Gilmore will be traded ahead of Week 1. That would be magnified should he fail to show up for mandatory camp.
Despite seeing a downtick in production this past season due to injuries and a bout with COVID-19, Gilmore is still a top-end cornerback. Remember, he led the league in passes defended (20) and interceptions (six) back in 2019. There’s talent left in the tank. It will lead to interest from multiple teams on the trade block. Below, we look at four ideal Stephon Gilmore trade scenarios.
Stephon Gilmore trade to the Arizona Cardinals
The loss of franchise stalwart Patrick Peterson to the division rival Minnesota Vikings has left a major void at cornerback in Arizona. The team attempted to rectify that by signing former Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler. But he simply isn’t the answer opposite Robert Alford. Relying on rookie fourth-round pick Marco Wilson also doesn’t seem to be a good idea with the likes of Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo in the NFC West.
Instead, the always active Steve Keim could look to pull off a blockbuster trade for Gilmore. He would count just north of $7 million against the cap for an acquiring team. Meanwhile, Arizona could save a whopping $15.5 million by trading edge rusher Chandler Jones. He’s said to be on the trade block and might be a redundancy with J.J. Watt now in the desert.
Stephon Gilmore trade to the Dallas Cowboys
Stuck in salary cap hell, Dallas pushed back against adding a veteran cornerback in free agency despite the likes of Malcolm Butler showing interest in joining the organization. For good reason. Jerry Jones and Co. find themselves a mere $5.79 million under the cap at this late point in the offseason.