If you’re hoping to see Gilmore back with the Patriots in 2021, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler had some positive news on a recent SportsCenter entry (h/t Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels).
The Patriots and Gilmore know they can intensify contract talks sometime in the next few weeks. And I’m told that Gilmore has largely not expected to be traded throughout this process because he knows the Patriots have made moves with Gilmore in mind. They haven’t gotten a cornerback to replace him. And as one source told me, ‘Do the Patriots really want to go into Week 4 against Tom Brady without their top cornerback?’ And so things are slow right now, but I expect those sides to ramp up negotiations sometime before training camp.
It sounds as if Gilmore is destined to get paid, one way or another.
Patriots Analyst Says Gilmore is Right to Hold Out
Alex Reimer of WEEI doesn’t blame Gilmore for playing hardball. According to Reimer, Gilmore doesn’t owe the Patriots any special favors.
History shows the most effective way for players to get money from Belichick is to hold out. Logan Mankins held out until midway through the 2010 season, and the following summer, became the highest-paid interior lineman in the game. Another apparent method to get into Belichick’s purse is to play for another team and hit free agency following the worst Patriots season in 20 years — which coincided with Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl elsewhere. Gilmore doesn’t owe the Patriots any favors. He has every onus to play hardball.
The earning window for a professional athlete is limited, and the prime period of that window is even shorter. Gilmore is at the end of his, and he’s still yet to cash in at a clip anywhere close to the level of play he’s demonstrated during his NFL career.
Prediction: The Deal Will Get Done
As I said early on, it would be a surprise if the Patriots and Gilmore weren’t able to come to some sort of an agreement. Paying Gilmore a contract cthat would make him one of the Top-5-7 paid cornerbacks in the NFL would likely get the job done.
Fansided’s GT Bobby Thompson believes an announcement about an extension is a matter of when, and not if one will get done. Thompson tweeted:
“# and CB Stephon Gilmore will ramp up extension talks before the start of training camp. Both sides want to get this done.”
The Patriots have a chance to have a special season in 2021, and an opportunity to stick it to their legion of haters. Bill Belichick and Co. will still be a good team if Gilmore isn’t on the team, but they have a much higher ceiling if he’s healthy and a part of the fold.