New England Patriots All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been traded to the Carolina Panthers. Initially, Gilmore was released as of Wednesday morning but hours later, the Patriots were able to get something in return for him, per Adam Schefter. In 2019, Gilmore was rewarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and he has been a four-time Pro Bowl. The Patriots corner started the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after tearing his quad. He had surgery on the quad shortly after injuring it in week 15 of the 2020 season.
The 2023 sixth-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers was given in exchange for Gilmore.
So former Patriots’ CB Stephon Gilmore, who is from Rock Hill, now gets to go home Carolina.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 6, 2021
The Stephon Gilmore Trade
The three main factors that led to Gilmore’s departure were the salary cap, contract, and his latest injury. The Patriots have been handicapped by the salary cap due to their excessive spending throughout the offseason. The Patriots has $54 thousand left in cap space according to ESPN Adam Schefter. This isn’t enough room to make any substantial moves to get through the season. As a result, they are looking to sign Jamie Collins who was just released from the Detroit Lions. This will be his third time in his career joining the Pats.
Trading Gilmore opens up close to $5.8 million in space for the Patriots. Although they could have looked in other directions to make space, it made more sense to restructure Gilmore’s contract. There were tons to take into consideration, Gilmore was coming off a torn quad and was unhappy with his current contract. The Patriot options were to pay Gilly $400 thousand per week to rehabilitate or trade him and get as much value as they humanly can for him.
— The Gilly Lock (@BumpNrunGilm0re) October 6, 2021
What does the departure of Stephon Gilmore mean for New England?
Currently, J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills are their top cornerbacks with Jonathan Jones as their nickel or slot corner. Initially, many believed that Mills would become more of a hybrid safety/corner when Gilmore returned but it seems he will take more of the primary role alongside Jackson. This puts a bigger spotlight on the young talent they traded for earlier in the season, Shaun Wade.
They acquired Wade from the Baltimore Ravens. While it has yet to be seen if he can produce at the level of Gilmore. However, Wade’s build is similar to his. He’s 6’1 and 191 pounds and showed his athletic capabilities at Ohio State.