The New England Patriots shocked the world on Wednesday morning by releasing cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The Patriots reportedly approached Gilmore about reworking his contract in an attempt to create cap space for linebacker Jamie Collins, and the former All-Pro defensive back was allegedly looking for a raise in pay. Negotiations came to a halt and the Patriots now plan on releasing Gilmore from his contract, unless they can trade him before 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Gilmore's departure will immediately save the Patriots $5.8 million against the cap and Gilmore is reportedly seeking a new deal in the neighborhood of $15 million per year.
The 31-year-old Gilmore appears set to hit the open market with what is sure to be an abundance of potential suitors in play. Here are three teams that should immediately inquire about completing a deal with Gilmore.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Buccaneers just added another veteran cornerback to the fold in Richard Sherman, but they will almost certainly kick the tires on Gilmore. The now-former Patriot would surely love to reunite with Tom Brady and join the Buccaneers on their quest to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
There's also the matter of the Bucs' underperforming secondary. Through four weeks, they are allowing a league-high 327.5 passing yards per game. Tampa Bay's best performing cornerback is Carlton Davis, who will now miss the next several weeks with a quad injury suffered in Week 4's primetime win over the Patriots. With fellow cornerback Jamel Dean also nursing an injury, and Sherman still finding his form, this is a thin group that needs all the help they can get.
Sticking with the theme of potential reunions, Gilmore spent the first five seasons of his career in Buffalo and now has a chance to rejoin them in a more competitive state. The Bills are not in desperation mode on defense, though. Buffalo's secondary has been incredibly stingy through the air, currently giving up a league-best 148.8 passing yards per contest.
The Bills are serious about winning the Super Bowl in 2021 and adding a savvy, high-performing veteran like Gilmore to their team would only increase their chances of doing so, even if there doesn’t appear to be a pressing need at the position—although an upgrade at CB2 is always helpful. We may be headed for another showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Bills in the AFC Championship Game. If Buffalo hopes to contend with Mahomes and stifle Kansas City's feared passing attack, having an ace like Gilmore in their back pocket could prove to be extremely beneficial.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs have been surprisingly poor on the defensive side of the ball through four weeks. The secondary is allowing an astounding 437.8 passing yards per contest. Only the Seattle Seahawks are currently worse in that category. Kansas City's inability to defend the passing game is a big reason why they currently find themselves in last place in the ultra-competitive AFC West.
Starting cornerback Charvarius Ward missed Kansas City's Week 4 win over the Philadelphia Eagles and has managed to score a poor 42.9 grade in coverage, per Pro Football Focus. Fellow cornerback L'Jarius Sneed has also struggled, allowing 14 receptions on just 17 targets. The Chiefs are on a quest to reach their third straight Super Bowl but may have to beef up the back end of their defense if they hope to thwart what appears to be several legitimate contenders in the AFC. Acquiring a proven cornerback such as Gilmore would increase the likelihood of their continued success.
Honorable Mention: Green Bay Packers. Davante Adams wants you to give him a call, Stephon.
- Feb 01, 2023
- Feb 01, 2023