Free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore is looking to take advantage of the swelling NFL salary cap and wants to be paid like a top player.
So what does that look like, you ask?
According to one report, it means he’s looking to haul in more than $14 million per year.
“Multiple sources tell PFT that Gilmore hopes to exceed deals previously signed by Janoris Jenkins ($12.5 million per year at signing) and Richard Sherman ($14 million per year in new money; $11.48 million per year at signing),” writes Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “If it happens, that still won’t set the high-water mark established last year by Washington cornerback Josh Norman, who received $15 million per year at signing after Carolina rescinded the franchise tender.”
It’s likely Gilmore will land the deal he’s seeking, too. A bigger, physical corner at 6-foot, 190 pounds, he specializes in man-to-man, bump-and-run coverage and has hauled in 10 interceptions the past three years, including five last year, with the Buffalo Bills.
More than half the league has a bunch of money to spend this offseason, as well, with 14 of them sitting pretty with more than $40 million in cap space heading into free agency.
At this point, it’s hard to determine if players are “worth” the massive contracts they will inevitably haul in. The NFL salary cap is rising fast, and we’ve already seen a player most have likely never heard of hauling in more than $8 million per year.
Things will pick up on this front quickly after the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, with NFL free agency officially starting on March 9, with the legal tampering period beginning three days before that. Buckle up, because it’s going to be a crazy ride.