The Patriots are releasing cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The cornerback broke the news himself on social media, thanking the team for their time together.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base. We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements. Thank you for supporting this Rock Hill kid and allowing him to achieve his NFL dreams,” Gilmore wrote (Twitter link). “To Mr. Kraft, the coaches, and the organization 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 and the Patriots weren’t able to make progress in contract talks, but he was still expected to stick with the club for the rest of the season. To date, he’s been on the physically unable to perform list with a quadriceps injury. Per the league’s PUP rules, he could have been activated as soon as Week 7.
Gilmore has been with the Patriots since 2017 after spending his first five years with the Buffalo Bills. He was part of the Patriots’ Super Bowl championship team in 2018 and won the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year award in which he had a career-high six interceptions and two touchdowns that year.
At the time of signing, Gilmore was plenty happy with his five-year, $65MM contract. Since then, he’s performed as one of the league’s best cover men as the market advanced significantly. In terms of average annual value ($13MM), the deal had the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year outside of the top 10 for CBs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.