New England Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore wants a new contract, making that desire abundantly clear this offseason, including holding out of mandatory minicamp.
The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year is slated to earn a $7 million base salary in 2021 after the Pats moved up $4.5 million last year. That salary currently places Gilmore 24th paid among corners, per Over The Cap.
Gilmore told reporter Josina Anderson on Friday he wants a pay bump in line with the rest of the top five CBs in the game.
“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore told Anderson. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is.”
While his base salary is low, Gilmore’s cap figure this season is the highest at his position. Whereas the Pats moved up money last year, with the corner entering the final year of his deal, that’s not an option this time around. Only a new contract or extension will appease the 30-year-old.
Gilmore added that he’s not looking for a trade out of New England.
“Hopefully, we can find some common ground and get it situated,” Gilmore said to Anderson. “I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on myself and make sure I’m good mentally and physically.”
Gilmore signed a five-year, $65 million contract in New England in 2017. He’s since been surpassed as the highest-paid at his position. He’s also outplayed that contract, becoming a centerpiece of Bill Belichick’s defense.
Gilmore shines in one-on-one matchups and can lock down an opponent’s No. 1 receiver, allowing Belichick to roll coverages elsewhere. The Pats defense would look a whole heap different without the star corner on the field.
The veteran underwent offseason surgery to fix a partially torn quad after playing in just 11 games last season. He told Anderson that his rehab is going well, but he’s unsure if he’ll be ready for training camp later this month.
“I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt since the surgery. I’ve been running a lot, building full speed …” Gilmore said. “We’ll see (if I’m ready for camp); if I need to be. But I also don’t want to push it.”
Hefty fines that cannot be rescinded would likely preclude Gilmore from skipping training camp. But the injury situation does provide him cover for a potential “hold in” if sides can’t come to a new deal by the time practices begin late this month.
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