When the New England Patriots opened their mandatory minicamp on Monday one player was suspiciously absent: cornerback Stephon Gilmore was not present for the session, and will sit out the remaining two days as well in a likely dispute over his contract.
Gilmore is counting $16.3 million against the Patriots’ salary cap — the highest number on the team — but as a result of a series of contract restructures over the last three years is scheduled to play on a salary of only $7 million in 2021. Now entering the final year of his deal, he is looking to cash in once again.
While it remains to be seen how the dispute will be resolved, others around the league have noticed that there is a chance the Patriots and Gilmore might part ways after three successful seasons together. Among them is Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who took to social media to recruit Gilmore to his team.
Ramsey took to Instagram to try to lure New England’s star defender to Los Angeles — comparing his situation to that of former Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts — and also tagged him in a recent Twitter post of his:
Yo @BumpNrunGilm0re what’s good my dawg?— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) June 14, 2021
Of course, Gilmore cannot join Ramsey unless the Patriots decide to trade him to Los Angeles. They still hold his rights for the 2021 season, after all, and can therefore decide to send him to whichever team presents the best offer — if a trade even materializes.
Given Gilmore’s play ever since arriving in New England, however, keeping him in the fold for at least one more year might be the best course of action.