Bill Belichick disputes Patriots Stephon Gilmore trade-talk reports

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Prior to Tuesday afternoon’s NFL trade deadline, ESPN reported that the Patriots were seeking a first-round pick for reigning Defensive Player of the Year cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Later in the day, the Boston Herald reported that “nothing got real close” in terms of a trade for New England’s best player.

Wednesday morning in a video call with local reporters, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick went even further to downplay reports and rumors that New England was looking to move on from Gilmore.

Asked if the Patriots “at least entertained” offers for the 30-year-old cornerback, Belichick had a pretty concise response.

“Not that I’m aware of,” Belichick said.

There have been a variety of reports that Gilmore was looking for a new contract this offseason and MMQB reported that New England had trade talks with other teams regarding the All-Pro cornerback during the spring and summer. Gilmore was given a $5 million bump in salary this season, though it’s actually an advance on next year’s salary, the final year of the five-year, $65 million deal the cornerback signed in free agency in 2017 that will now pay him just $7 million. The top end of the cornerback contract market has exploded over the last year or so, leaving Gilmore’s deal dated and undervalued given his talent and production.

Gilmore missed Sunday’s game in Buffalo with a knee injury that he suffered on the practice field last week. It was the first game the cornerback has missed due to injury in New England since his first season as a Patriot in 2017.