What re-doing Stephon Gilmore’s contract might look like


If it wasn’t clear before last week it is now: Stephon Gilmore is not playing the 2021 season under his current contract.

While it doesn’t appear to be overly contentious, Gilmore publicly showed his displeasure with his deal last week by not attending mandatory minicamp.

Gilmore is in the final year of his contract with the Patriots and after getting a $5 million raise last year which came from his 2021 salary, the cornerback is only scheduled to make $7 million this season.

Both the team and Gilmore’s representatives would likely agree that isn’t what he’s worth and something needs to be worked out. And it should be stated again, by all accounts it doesn’t feel like a major controversy between both sides, just something that needs to get addressed prior to Gilmore reporting.

That could either be via a straight contract extension for the 30-year-old or just a bump in pay for this coming season.

One reason why it might just be a bump in pay rather than extension is Gilmore is coming off a quad injury that landed him on injured reserve at the end of last season. While all signs are Gilmore won’t be impacted by it, the Patriots probably want to see for themselves before committing to a player in his 30s for multiple seasons.

The Patriots have close to $15 million in cap space, so money isn’t an issue on their end.

So, what could a new deal for the 2021 season look like?

Perhaps Gilmore gets $5 million more and then can earn up to $6 million more in incentives based on playing time and even wins as well as how far the team advances in the postseason. That would get him to $18 million, which would be up there with the highest paid corners in the league in terms of cash for 2021.

And then it would be up to Gilmore when it comes to his next contract.

If he plays well this season, he likely would have multiple teams seeking his services next offseason, including the Patriots. And if he doesn’t, the Patriots could say they made the right decision not committing to him now. There’s also JC Jackson in the mix as well since he will be a free agent following the season, too. New England cannot afford to pay both players, so it makes sense for them to play the year out and see where both players stand.

Gilmore could potentially earn even more money by not agreeing to an extension with the Patriots this offseason. There will be some cornerback-needy teams next offseason and all it takes is one to go to him with a boatload of cash.

With Gilmore reportedly being in town this week, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a deal gets reached in the coming days or weeks. And when it does, just don’t be surprised if it’s not an extension and that’s OK.

It may be in the best interest of both parties.

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