Bill Belichick spent nearly $200 million in guaranteed money in free agency last week to try to put the Patriots back on the fast track to contention after their 7-9 2020 season.
Spending to the nose on imports and re-signed players, and then parting ways with one of the NFL’s premier cornerbacks would seem like a contradictory strategy.
That’s why the Pats have be to be encouraged by a report from SI’s Albert Breer, and why they have to act on it. According to Breer, Gilmore, who’s due to make $7 million in base salary this season before becoming a free agent, “would be very open to signing a new deal in New England.”
Breer broke down the situation like this:
“I do believe it’s unlikely that Gilmore plays the 2020 season for $7 million, which is what he’s on the books for. And I think, as an acknowledgment of that, and on the heels of a very newsworthy couple weeks, the Patriots will at least explore the idea of extending Gilmore. Could they still trade him? Sure. Was moving $4.5 million from 2021 to 2020 in his deal -- the contractual equivalent of a cash advance -- an acknowledgement on both sides that the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year was probably going to be seeking his final big NFL payday somewhere else in 2021? At the time, it was. But a couple things have changed since.”
Breer then talks about Gilmore’s trade value dropping because of the quad injury after Week 15. And, of course, he writes about the star-studded cast that has joined up in free agency, including stud linebacker Matt Judon.
“If the Patriots think Gilmore has, say, three more good years left in him (and they know better than anyone else how the 30-year-old has taken care of his body) and they don’t want to pay promising young corner J.C. Jackson like a premier DB, you can certainly see where it’d make sense,” Breer continued.
Certainty is always best. The Pats have a premier cornerback in their midst and they shouldn't trade him hoping that Jackson and/or someone they draft will develop into anything close to the player Gilmore is and could continue to be in the foreseeable future.
The only logical way forward, if Gilmore is in fact willing to sign an extension -- and he’s reasonable with his demands -- is to get it done.