Earlier this morning, the Patriots came to terms with 26-year-old Stephon Gilmore, who most recently played for New England's AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills. Gilmore was given his fifth-year option with the Bills, which was at $11.082 million, prior to the 2016 season, but the two sides failed to reach a long-term extension.
Throughout the entire season, Gilmore made it clear that he wanted to be paid like one of the elite cornerbacks in the NFL and the Bills did not even tender the franchise tag on him, which was at $14.2 million for cornerbacks. Gilmore was the 10th overall selection for the Bills back in the 2012 NFL Draft, but was not playing all-world football up until last season. Last season, Gilmore was ranked as the 61st cornerback by Pro Football Focus while also grabbing a career-best five interceptions in his first Pro Bowl season, and in 2015 he was ranked 14th by PFF.
Since signing Gilmore, where the final number is not known but expected to be in the range of $14 million per season, the Patriots have now shifted their focus to perhaps trading Malcolm Butler, who was given a first-round tender as a restricted free agent after the two sides failed to work out an extension. The latest rumor is that the Patriots are considering trading Malcolm Butler for Brandin Cooks of the New Orleans Saints.
Defense wins championships. We saw that in the Super Bowl and in 2014 when Butler picked off Russell Wilson in the end zone. Unfortunately, I think something happened with Malcolm Butler that really pissed the Patriots off. Perhaps Butler wanted to be paid like the best corner in the NFL? I don't know. Because truthfully, having Gilmore and Butler is much better than having Gilmore and Cooks. Butler and Gilmore could be compared to what the Broncos are doing out there in Denver.
Keep up to date with the latest rumors here at Biased Boston Sports.
It has now been reported that the deal will be worth $70 million over 5 years.