The Panthers acquired four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Patriots, the team announced on Wednesday.
In exchange for Gilmore, the Patriots will receive a 2023 sixth-round pick.
The Patriots parted ways with Gilmore on Wednesday, after the cornerback spent four years with the franchise. With New England, he made two All-Pro appearances and won the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year award, emerging as one of the league's best defensive backs.
Gilmore would have become a free agent had he not been traded by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, according to Pro Football Talk.
Gilmore opened this season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, as he was recovering from offseason surgery on a torn quad. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Gilmore's release came after the Patriots and his camp were unable to come to terms on a restructured contract.
While Gilmore reported to training camp on time, he skipped New England's mandatory minicamp in June over frustration with his contract. Gilmore was entering the final year of his deal.
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At the time of his release, The MMQB's Albert Breer reported that Gilmore's quad was healthy, and while he needed to get in football shape, he should be available soon.
Gilmore joins a team that is tied with the Buccaneers for first place in the NFC South. The Panthers have dealt with injuries to their secondary, including first-round pick Jaycee Horn (foot) and Juston Burris (groin).
Carolina (3-1) ranks third in total defense in the NFL, allowing 251.5 yards per game. The Panthers also rank second in the league passing yards, allowing 156.6 per game.
Carolina will face the Patriots on Nov. 7.
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