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Stephon Gilmore Trade to Cowboys? Costs In Rumored Patriots Deal

Could the Cowboys and Stephon Gilmore be the perfect match on a trade? Well, what would it cost? Let's dive in.

FRISCO - The Stephen Gilmore saga continues to evolve as training camp draws near. 

The Patriots All-Pro cornerback didn't attend the club's mandatory minicamp this summer as he continues to hold out for a new contract.

Gilmore, 30, is entering the final year of his five-year, $65 million deal with the Patriots. Following the 2020 season in which he was paid north of $14 million total, he'll earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021 with a roster bonus of $735,286, per Spotrac. He's likely looking to be paid near those figures in his next contract. 

Gilmore has been involved in several rumors this offseason, but he finally spoke out about his contract situation on Friday, telling Josina Anderson that he doesn't want to be traded, and just wants to be paid fair market value. 

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“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore told Anderson. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.”

Gilmore also said: "Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now I'm just trying to focus on myself and make sure I'm good mentally and physically."

These comments come shortly after ESPN Insider Jeremy Fowler provided an update on July 1, saying that Gilmore doesn't anticipate being traded this offseason.

“The Patriots and Gilmore know they can intensify contract talks sometime in the next few weeks. And I’m told that Gilmore has largely not expected to be traded throughout this process because he knows the Patriots have made moves with Gilmore in mind,” Fowler said, via Bleacher Report. “They haven’t gotten a cornerback to replace him. And as one source told me, ‘Do the Patriots really want to go into Week 4 against Tom Brady without their top cornerback?’ And so things are slow right now, but I expect those sides to ramp up negotiations sometime before training camp.”

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For the Cowboys, they were rumored to have had a discussion about a draft-day trade down with the Patriots for a deal centered around Gilmore. Such a trade never came to fruition, and the Cowboys ended up with Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons after their coveted cornerbacks, Alabama's Patrick Surtain II and South Carolina's Jaycee Horn, were selected before they got on the clock. 

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Dallas still very much has a need at the position as they head into training camp with second-year corner Trevon Diggs starting on one side, while the other side will feature a competition between Anthony Brown and rookies Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.

However, the biggest hurdle here remains the cost. What it would take to get him, and what it would take to keep him happy long-term?

As Mike Fisher noted back in April, the extension issue "would be a problem for Dallas, and if the Cowboys don't budge, they likely have an unhappy camper on their hands."

But Fish was also informed that his 2021 salary "is not especially problematic." And he explains why here.

As for what the Cowboys might have to pay Gilmore on his next contract, the soon-to-be 31-year-old is expected to command around $20 million per season, which would put him on par with the highest-paid corner in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey of the L.A. Rams, who recently signed a five-year, $100 million deal.

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The Cowboys, we'll assume, wouldn't agree to pay Gilmore that amount of money at the age of 36. But might a three-year deal make some sense? Maybe. But a trade must come first, and it would likely cost them a premium future pick.

Is that too much of an investment in a player coming off of a season-ending partially torn quad injury that required offseason surgery? It just might be.