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4x Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore expected to make Panthers debut

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore reportedly is holding out of mandatory minicamp.

LEDE 1
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore reportedly is holding out of mandatory minicamp. LEDE 1

All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is expected to come off the physically unable to perform list in time to make his Carolina Panthers debut on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, according to ESPN.

The Panthers acquired Gilmore in a trade with the New England Patriots on Oct. 6, giving up a 2023 sixth-round draft pick.

The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Gilmore has been on the physically unable to perform list this season as he recovers from surgery for a torn quad in December. He was eligible to return starting in Week 7.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Gilmore was in the final season of a five-year, $65 million deal signed with the Patriots in 2017. He had made it clear to the Patriots that he wanted to be among the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL, but the two sides were unable to agree on a restructured deal.

Byron Jones of the Miami Dolphins is the top-paid cornerback at $16.1 million, according to Spotrac.

Gilmore spent the first five seasons of his career with the Buffalo Bills, who selected him No. 10 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. In 124 career games (122 starts), he has 411 tackles, one sack, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has intercepted 25 passes and returned them for 452 yards, including two touchdowns.

Gilmore, 31, is a native of Rock Hill, S.C., located about 30 miles from the Panthers' home in Charlotte, N.C. He still lives in the area.

The Panthers (3-4) have lost four straight games.

--Field Level Media