Stephon Gilmore was in the final year of the contract he signed in 2017 and did not agree to an extension with the New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have released Stephon Gilmore, NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, after the two sides failed to agree on a new contract.
The cornerback, who was invited to the Pro Bowl four times, confirmed his departure in a post from Instagram, by asserting that the moments he shared with his teammates on and off the field during the past four seasons – including winning the Super Bowl – “will never be forgotten.”
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base,” wrote Stephon Gilmore. “We enjoy so much success together and you guys have been an incredible inspiration for my individual accomplishments,” she wrote.
Gilmore began the season on the disabled list as he was recovering from a quadriceps discomfort. who suffered late last season that required offseason surgery. The cornerback was eligible to start training after Week 6.
The Patriots and Gilmore were working on a new deal this summer. The 31-year-old did not participate in the voluntary and mandatory practices of New England’s offseason program in May and June, as he sought to obtain additional compensation by entering the final season of the five-year, $ 65 million contract he signed in 2017.
His base salary for this season was $ 7 million. He also received a $ 500,000 bonus, but even with that his 2021 compensation would have placed him 25th among NFL cornerbacks.
That didn’t sit well with Stephon Gilmore, who has stood out since coming to the Patriots as a free agent from Buffalo in 2017 and at the moment. racked up 11 interceptions in his four seasons with the Patriots.
In the 2020 campaign, he only appeared in 11 games because he caught Covid-19 and then suffered the injury that has kept him on the sidelines thus far.
This summer he told ESPN that he just wanted a fair contract and that he felt good after the surgery.
“I only want my worth, no matter how it unfolds,” Gilmore told ESPN. “Each player must be paid what he is worth. This is how it is. “
Despite losing Patrick Chung, the Patriots did a few things to bolster their roster this offseason. Defensive back JC Jackson, who led the team with nine interceptions last season, re-signed and the team signed veteran Jalen Mills.
A prolonged absence from Gilmore would have hampered his ability to build chemistry with a unit that also added several new pieces to the defensive line through free agency, including defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and Matt Judon.
Now that Gilmore is gone, the Patriots will turn their full attention to strengthening a defense that ranks fourth in the NFL, allowing 185 passing yards per game.