After news broke in the morning that the Pats intended to release the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, a handful of teams stepped in and expressed interest in a trade. The Carolina Panthers won the sweepstakes and acquired Gilmore by sending just a sixth-round pick back to New England.
The deal ended a saga between the Patriots and the 31-year-old cornerback that dates back well into the offseason. Gilmore was holding out for a contract extension, while also recovering from a partially torn quad, but was never able to get the deal that he wanted from New England’s front office.
Losing a player that made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons is disappointing for the Patriots. Getting only a sixth-round pick in return for him is devastating. Someone has to take the blame for the handling of the situation and SI’s Albert Breer thinks there’s an obvious choice: Bill Belichick.
“The Patriots refused to lose a negotiation to their best player. And a year later, all they could get for Stephon Gilmore was a bag of pylons,” Breer wrote on Twitter. “This stunning squandering of an asset lies squarely at the feet of Bill Belichick.”
The Patriots refused to lose a negotiation to their best player. And a year later, all they could get for Stephon Gilmore was a bag of pylons.
This stunning squandering of an asset lies squarely at the feet of Bill Belichick.https://t.co/RxgtAfi1mz
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 6, 2021
Breer wasn’t the only one to comment on Belichick’s involvement in the team’s unsavory split with Gilmore. A handful of other media members pointed out the head coach’s knack for trading away notable players in the middle of the season if he deemed that the right move.
Reminder that Bill Belichick moving on from players right before or during a season has happened many times before…
2021: Stephon Gilmore
2017: Jimmy Garoppolo
2016: Jamie Collins
2014: Logan Mankins
2010: Randy Moss
2009: Richard Seymour
2006: Deion Branch
2003: Lawyer Milloy
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 6, 2021
There is no NFL GM who keeps you on your toes in October like Bill Belichick. Jamie Collins traded to Browns. Jimmy Garoppolo traded to 49ers. Trade for Deion Branch. Trade for Aqib Talib (officially 11/1). Now, Gilmore cut.
— Andy Hart (@JumboHart) October 6, 2021
Belichick released a statement on the matter prior to the actual trade, but after the news that Gilmore would no longer by a New England Patriot. In the brief set of remarks, he said that the organization and the star cornerback “mutually agreed to part ways.”
“I am grateful to Stephon Gilmore for his significant contributions to our team,” Belichick said. “It was a privilege and pleasure to coach Steph, I appreciate him for the true professional and class act that he is and wish him all the best in the future. Following discussions over the long period of time, we mutually agreed to part ways today.”
Belichick himself also probably wishes that Wednesday’s outcome with Gilmore could’ve gone differently, but the Patriots will just have to move on. New England’s secondary will still be a tough test for opposing offenses, so long as the six-time Super Bowl champ is at the helm.
However, the Patriots could’ve felt much better about their prospects with Gilmore still on the roster.
The post Bill Belichick Facing Criticism Following Latest Big Roster Move appeared first on The Spun.