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New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore tweets unhappiness over contract, leading to further trade rumors

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There’s a decent chance that the New England Patriots are going to be forced to trade former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore ahead of Week 1.

Gilmore, 30, is not happy about a contract that’s going to pay him a mere $7 million base salary in 2021. For good reason. Despite some struggles a season ago, he remains one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. He’s just not being paid like it.

Gilmore took to Twitter on Tuesday to respond to a post from CBS Sports outlining the 10 highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. In response to the since-deleted tweet, Gilmore simply wrote, “Oh ok.”

Indeed, the New England Patriots are not doing themselves any favors by holding back as it relates to a potential Stephon Gilmore contract extension. To say he’s vastly underpaid compared to other top-end NFL cornerbacks would be an understatement.

Stephon Gilmore and NFL cornerback contracts

Here’s a look at the 10 highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL for the 2021 season based on base salaries. As you will see, Gilmore is underpaid.

Byron JonesMiami Dolphins$14 million
Xavien HowardMiami Dolphins$12.075 million
Kendell FullerWashington Football Team$10 million
Kyle FullerDenver Broncos$9 million
Bradley RobyHouston Texans$8.94 million
Trae WaynesCincinnati Bengals$8.4 million
Joe HadenPittsburgh Steelers$7 million
Stephon GilmoreNew England Patriots$7 million
Bryce Callahan Denver Broncos$6.5 million
Kenny MooreIndianapolis Colts$6.15 million
NFL cornerback contracts, via Spotrac

At the very least, it’s not close to a stretch to conclude that Stephon Gilmore is a much better cornerback than both Bradley Roby and Trae Waynes, the latter of whom missed the entire 2020 season to injuries.

Stephon Gilmore stats

stephon gilmore contract stalemate
Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) leaves the field after warming up before a game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2020 (Pro Bowl): 37 tackles, three passes defended, one interception
  • 2019 (All-Pro/Pro Bowl): 53 tackles, 20 passes defended, six interceptions
  • 2018 (All-Pro/Pro Bowl): 45 tackles, 20 passes defended, two interceptions

As you can see, Gilmore’s basic stats took a major hit in 2020 as he dealt with COVID-19 and other off-field factors. Even then, his advanced splits remain pretty darn elite.

According to Pro Football Focus, Stephon Gilmore boasts the third-highest grade among cornerbacks lined up on the outside since 2018 — behind only Jaire Alexander and Richard Sherman. There’s obviously a reason why he’s holding out and not happy with his current contract.

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