Should the 49ers Trade for Stephon Gilmore?

The 49ers need some reinforcement at the cornerback position.
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The 49ers need some reinforcement at the cornerback position.

Outside of Jason Verrett, there really isn't a cornerback they can rely upon. That isn't the most ideal situation considering Verrett isn't out of the woods yet when it comes to being an injury prone player. Right now, his 2020 season is an outlier. Should he sustain an injury, then the 49ers will only have Emmanuel Moseley as their top corner, which will not bode well.

There is one player out there that the 49ers could look to bring in via trade. That player is Stephon Gilmore of the Patriots. Gilmore skipped out on mandatory minicamp and it is believed to be tied to his contract. Currently he is playing on the last year of his deal, so it is definitely likely he is holding out to gain that final deal for security. Gilmore is just one year removed from winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. He is a player that can surely boost the 49ers and potentially be offloaded by the Patriots.

Should the 49ers trade for Gilmore?

Absolutely not. For starters, Gilmore's base salary of $7 million would require the 49ers to alleviate some salary cap space. Let's say it ends up being Jimmy Garoppolo just because his time with the 49ers is limited and the Patriots like him to avoid giving up any or serious draft capital. Even if the 49ers were to get Garoppolo off the books in this trade, it is still something they should not do. 

Gilmore is a sweet cornerback, but his best days are behind him now and he is coming off of a partially torn quad last season. Not only would giving up draft capital make it unattractive to acquire him, but the contract extension the 49ers HAVE to give him. Otherwise, if he is acquired, why would he show up without a new deal when this is clearly the reason is he sitting out?

The cost for a top cornerback is high. Gilmore would demand to be paid amongst the likes of Jalen Ramsey, or at least close to that. Gilmore will turn 31 in September. He is basically an aging star whose body looks to be breaking down. The 49ers already have one of those players in Trent Williams, and you could argue that Williams looked so strong because of the year off he took. 

Cornerback reinforcement will have to come in the form of rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir. It will be tough for them to step up this year, but that is the only way the secondary will see that boost.