Former defensive player of the year (DPOY) Stephon Gilmore has just signed with the Indianapolis Colts for $23 million over two years, reported ESPN. Over half of this annual contract is guaranteed ($14 million). There’s no secret that the Colts’ defensive backs have struggled historically. This offseason it seems they’ve made a point to focus on beefing up their secondary. They recently signed veteran safety Rodney McLeod earlier this week.
The Colts’ defense has been very respectable. However, they were respectable due to trading all of their capital in the secondary. Last season, they did not sign back Xavier Rhodes, who’s seen better days. He began to age and his play has drop significantly leading to trading for Yannick Ngakoue from the Las Vegas Raiders. They traded their young and talented corner, Rock Ya-Sin, for the pass rusher who’s brought a dynamic to their defense they appreciate.
As the Colts attempt to reshape their defense they’re attempting to rebrand their defensive strategy and philosophy as well. Their latest DC Matt Eberflus left to coach for the Chicago Bears. As a result, the Colts have signed Gus Bradley as his replacement. Their defense now features five-time Pro Bowler Gilmore, Ngakoue, DeForest Buckner, star LB Darius Leonard, and a top-rated slot CB in Kenny Moore. Each of these players has made at least one pro bowl in their careers. This only goes to emphasize their impacts on the defense.
Five-time Pro-Bowl CB Stephon Gilmore, the NFL’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, reached agreement on an two-year deal with the Colts, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 15, 2022
Stephon Gilmore Journey
In 2021, Gilmore was traded by the New England Patriots to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 third-round draft pick. The Panthers naturally wanted to replace their third overall pick, Jaycee Horn, who suffered a season-ending injury. The 31-year-old cornerback, making a Pro-Bowl alternate last season while primarily being physically unable to perform list is a bit astonishing. It only goes to show the respect Gilmore warrants around the NFL.
He’s found a new home and is their best defensive back in the history of the Colts franchise. Hopefully, he can live up to the hype.