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New Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore shares his thoughts on CB Malcolm Butler and signing with New England

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The Patriots new big money cornerback talks about the player he might be replacing.

New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore hosted a press conference hours before his wife gave birth to his second child, a daughter named Gisele. The new $65 million man shared his thoughts on CB Malcolm Butler, how he signed with the Patriots, and the advice his new teammates gave him as he moved to a new region.

Gilmore spent the first five seasons of his career with the divisional rival Buffalo Bills and he is excited to get started with his new team- and how he’s not sure what the future holds with Butler.

“I’m just looking forward to obviously meeting all of the players on the team, getting to know them,” Gilmore said. “Just gelling with the players and bonding as a team, so [Butler is] not the only person that I’m looking forward to working with. I’m just looking forward to talking to the coaches and the players and getting to know them pretty well.”

Gilmore added that he’s not sure what the future holds for Butler, but that he’d be excited to play alongside him.

“He’s a great player,” Gilmore said about Butler. “He’s made a lot of good plays in the league, so I’d love to team up with him and play with him.”

“Obviously, he came into the league undrafted so he came in and grinded his way up to the top and he’s made a lot of good plays in the league, so you’ve got to respect him as a player,” Gilmore added. “He’s made a lot of great plays on big stages. I definitely respect him as a player. In this league you have to have a strong mentality playing at the corner position and I think he has that. He has that fight in him, so that’s one thing that sticks out from watching him. He always comes back. If you get him he always puts it behind him and makes plays the next play.”

Gilmore said that the Patriots interest in his services “actually happened at the beginning” of free agency, and noted that he “was surprised a little bit” and intrigued at the idea of playing for New England because “they find a way to win.”

When asked about his strengths, Gilmore explained how his skills fit into the Patriots defense.

“I think a strong part of my game is just being physical at the line of scrimmage and playing a lot of man-to-man coverage,” Gilmore said. “But I’m just ready to do whatever the coaches want me to do to make the team better. I’m down for whatever challenge they want me to be in. I think me just pressing at the line of scrimmage and making plays on the football – that’s the strongest point of my game.”

The Patriots have a strong press coverage secondary with Gilmore, Butler, Eric Rowe, and Cyrus Jones. Gilmore struggled in zone coverage with the Bills in 2016, so the Patriots will try to place him in a situation to succeed. The Patriots will also have to replace Logan Ryan’s physicality at the line of scrimmage.

Gilmore is hoping to join veterans WR Chris Hogan and DT Alan Branch, along with practice squad FB Glenn Gronkowski, as players that successfully migrated from Buffalo to New England. Gilmore reached out to his former teammates for advice, while defensive captain Devin McCourty called him, too.

“I talked to Chris Hogan,” Gilmore said. “He congratulated me, and McCourty – I knew McCourty since my rookie year. He called me and reached out to me, so a lot of guys with open arms. Just welcoming me in open arms, just getting in and making you feel like you’re a part of the team. It’s always good to have guys that you know and have played with and have a good camaraderie with.”

“Chris Hogan just told me to come in and let me know if I need anything as far as massage people or people to help me be a better player,” Gilmore aded. “So it’s always good to, like I said, know guys that you played with that kind of had a great year and did the right things to make them a better player.”

Gilmore will have to play at an extremely high level in order to match his contract value and will have to overcome even more if his signing leads to the departure of Malcolm Butler.

Best of luck to Gilmore and his family, and welcome to New England!