In a shocking development, the New England Patriots are releasing former All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The two sides had been locked in negotiations to restructure his contract, but clearly, they couldn’t come to terms.
It is rare that an All-Pro player, still playing at a high level, is released in the midst of an NFL season. Gilmore began the season on the PUP list and was not eligible to return until Week 7 after suffering a torn quad in Week 15 of last season. The former 2019 Defensive Player of the Year will bring quite a skillset to whichever team signs him.
The 31-year-old cornerback was set to make $7.5 million this season after being drafted by the Bills with the 10th pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He spent four seasons in Buffalo before he signed with New England. Last season, he played in 11 games, recording 37 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, and three pass deflections. There will be a bevy of teams interested in Gilmore, but I wouldn’t expect the Falcons to be one of them.
Even though Isaiah Oliver just went down with a season-ending injury, Atlanta doesn’t make much sense. First and foremost, the team that signs Gilmore will be competing for the Super Bowl — i.e., Packers, Buccanneers, Bills, and Chiefs. Secondly, compensation was the reason he’s not in New England, so that’ll likely be the more significant roadblock for the Falcons to bring him in.
In fact, the Falcons are one of the few teams that couldn’t afford Gilmore’s services.
The only teams that can not afford him under that scenario would be the Saints, Falcons, Bears, Cardinals, Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Colts, and Giants though they could create cap room to make a move.
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) October 6, 2021
More than likely, the Falcons won’t even sniff around Gilmore because of those two reasons, but someone like Quinton Dunbar could be a better fit. He was recently released from the Cardinals practice squad. With that being said, I think the Falcons will roll with the in-house rookie candidates to replace Isaiah Oliver — Avery Williams, Darren Hall, and Richie Grant.
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