In 2017, the New England Patriots made a huge splash in free agency by signing former Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65.0 million contract. As enormous as the investment was at the time, it is paying off. Gilmore became one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks down the stretch last season and is even more impressive this year: the 28-year old is having the best year of his career.
As a result, Gilmore has seen plenty of accolades come his way. He has been named to the Pro Bowl, the Associated Press first All-Pro team, and the Pro Football Focus All-NFL team. Now, he has made another all-star squad: as has been announced earlier today, the Pro Football Writers of America have named New England’s number one cornerback to their All-NFL team — the lone Patriot to make the cut.
Seeing Gilmore make it does not come as a surprise. During the regular season, he allowed just 37 of 90 passes thrown his way to be completed for 403 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions — all while also registering 18 pass breakups, a sack, two forced fumble, and one recovery. Gilmore’s lights-out play continued into the playoffs as he also had a stellar game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday (despite one notable error).
Gilmore is also part of the All-AFC team, but once again he is the only Patriot mentioned. Neither other deserving candidates like defensive edge Trey Flowers or guard Shaq Mason made it — they lost to Myles Garrett and J.J. Watt and Quenton Nelson and Marshal Yanda, respectively.