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2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore is released by the New England Patriots after four seasons
Last Updated: 06/10/21 2:31pm
The New England Patriots have parted ways with cornerback Stephon Gilmore after negotiations over a new contract reportedly fell through.
Gilmore is set to come off the physically unable to perform list after Week Six having undergone surgery for a torn quad in December.
The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, who recorded a late interception to help the Patriots secure Super Bowl LIII glory against the Los Angeles Rams, had a base salary of $7m for 2021 and was in the final season of the five-year, $65m contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
“We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements,” Gilmore wrote on Twitter.
“To Mr. Kraft, the coaches, and the organisation thank you for providing me with this platform and allowing me to be part of greatness. Most of all I want to thank my teammates who lined up next to me every Sunday with one goal in mind.”
Gilmore sat out the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp in June amid the dispute over his contract, which was shy of the market value for the league’s top cornerbacks after the team had shifted $4.5m of his 2021 pay into 2020. New England had supposedly been keen to monitor his health before making a decision regarding bumping up his salary.
NFL Network reported that the Patriots were unable to find what they were looking for in exchange for the 31-year-old in the trade market.
While no trade partner could be found for Gilmore, the market for a player of his calibre is likely to be vast as contenders seek added playmakers on defense.
Gilmore led the league with six interceptions and 20 pass defenses in 2019.
JC Jackson emerged as a star in the Patriots secondary last season as he finished the year with nine interceptions and 14 pass defenses having gone undrafted out of Maryland in 2018. The 25-year-old has already recorded two interceptions through the first four weeks of the season.
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