Trying to find a long-term solution at the quarterback position is not the only item on the New England Patriots’ to-do list for the days and weeks ahead. The team will also have to make a decision about star cornerback Stephon Gilmore and his contract.
While Gilmore is still signed through 2021 and counting $16.29 million against the Patriots’ salary cap, his actual compensation of $7.9 million this year is ranked just 23rd among cornerbacks at the moment. Something will have to give in regards to both his cash intake as well as his future beyond the upcoming season.
Gilmore has not publicly complained about his contract and is reportedly also open to signing a new deal in New England, but he was noncommittal during a recent interview with Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
“That stuff will play out as it will,” said the 29-year-old. “I just try to take it day by day, and that’s all I can do.”
Gilmore is scheduled to enter his fifth season as a Patriot. He originally arrived as a high-priced free agent signing in 2017 and came aboard via a five-year pact worth $65 million. Over the years that deal was altered on more than one occasion to move around resources or free up cap space. While no additional seasons were added, though, Gilmore is facing an uncertain future.
That uncertainty and his potential quest for a new market-rate contract does not seem to concern him all too much, however.
“It’s out of my control I’m just happy to be a Patriot right now, and see how it goes,” Gilmore told the Globe.
“You’ve got to leave it in their hands. Of course, I know what type of player I am, what type of person I am. I let everything lay on its own.”
In the meantime, Gilmore is trying to work his way back onto the field after a challenging 2020 campaign that saw him miss time on the Coronavirus reserve list before suffering a season-ending quad injury in December. He had to undergo surgery on his partially torn quad, but is expected not to miss any offseason workouts should they take place.
“I’m taking it day by day, just working out, trying to stay in shape, and go from there,” said Gilmore.
As for his longer-term outlook, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year also seems to be following a one-step-at-a-time approach.
“I try to take it year by year, work hard, and until God says put it down, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “But right now I feel great, and I just try to enjoy every moment.”
For the time being, Gilmore remains under his current contract with the Patriots and is slated to resume his role as the team’s number one cornerback. Things can obviously change quickly, however, and with the draft presenting an opportunity for New England to possibly recoup some capital in case contract negotiations go nowhere nothing seems to be off the table just yet.