Earlier this week, Jalen Ramsey reset the cornerback market when he agreed to sign a five-year extension worth a total of $105 million with the Los Angeles Rams. The record-breaking contract came just a few days after the Buffalo Bills and Tre’Davious White agreed to a four-year, $70 million extension. The elite defensive back business is booming these days, but the deals did raise a question: What about Stephon Gilmore?
Now we know the answer. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL’s best cornerback has received a significant pay raise for the 2020 season: The New England Patriots increased Gilmore’s salary from previously $10.5 million to $15.5 million. The 29-year-old will also get the chance to earn an additional $2 million through some new incentives.
If those incentives are classified as not likely to be earned (NLTBE), Gilmore’s new salary cap number for the 2020 season will be $23.67 million, according to Miguel Benzan — up from previously $18.67 million, which was already the highest on the team. While the move does decrease New England’s available cap space, the team still has considerable resources to work with following the player opt-outs from earlier this offseason: $26.68 million, per Miguel’s calculations.
As for Gilmore, meanwhile, his pay is now more reflective of his status as the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year and a core member of New England’s secondary. While no new years were added to his existing contract — the veteran is still signed through the 2021 season — the move is a sign of good faith from the organization and one that it still expects him to play at a top level in his fourth season since joining arriving as an unrestricted free agent in 2017.