Head coach Bill Belichick and the organization had some tense moments with veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore. That’s what some reports suggested.
Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated reported that the Patriots had considered trading Gilmore during the summer. Greg Bedard from Boston Sports shared his theory on Gilmore’s situation with the team. He even added more info to the story.
According to these reports, the All-Pro cornerback wanted a raise. Coach Belichick had a decision to make. How did the coach handle the situation?
Gilmore’s representation made the demand. The cornerback wanted a rise, and Belichick didn’t accept it. The first thing he said was, “Well, I’m gonna try to trade your ***.”
Bill Belichick was ready to trade Stephon Gilmore
Trading Gilmore would have been a disaster. He is a valuable player and any team would snatch him in the first minute. Imagine him joining the Buffalo Bills or the Kansas City Chiefs! That would be the ultimate suicide mission for the Patriots. Coach Belichick did a good thinking and decided to keep Gilmore. Yes, he paid.
“I don’t know the exact timing, the mechanisms, the threats — any of that stuff. But what I can tell you … in the offseason, Gilmore and his representation let it be known to the Patriots that he wanted a raise. Normally, when that happens, it does not go over well with Bill, and step No. 1 is: “Well, I’m gonna try to trade your ***.” And they did. They tried to trade him just like Deion Branch.
” … I thought it was crazy, some people brought it up at the time: When you look at it (salary) cap-wise, the Patriots actually would’ve saved about $3 million on the cap. But, once they couldn’t find any takers for Gilmore, Belichick was left with the decision, “Well, what do I do? Do I release him? And then do I risk him going to Kansas City? Baltimore? Houston? Buffalo?” … So, Belichick was left with a choice, basically, and I gotta tip my cap to Gilmore and his representation. They played hardball with the Patriots, they had their leverage — he was Defensive Player of the Year — they knew anybody would pick him up if the Patriots decided to release Gilmore. And, so, at the end of the day, Belichick had to swallow everything … and give him (the money). … Not many people go toe-to-toe with Belichick at the negotiation table and win.”
Losing Gilmore was not an option
Gilmore had two defensive pass interference penalties and gave up a couple big completions. He had an interception too. But, Miami Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker didn’t play Sunday due to an injury.
Will the Patriots agree to trade Gilmore despite his pay rase? It’s a challenging situation for the team. Belichick doesn’t mind parting ways with key players. He has already done it before. He will do that again if necessary.