The New England Patriots Cut, SIKE,,, Traded Stephon Gilmore for Pennies on the Dollar in their Latest "Year Too Early, Instead of Too Late" Transaction
I was just about ready to run out the door this morning when one of my buddies texted a group chat, breaking the news that the Pats cut 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, CB Stephon Gilmore.
While I hate waking up and leaving for work every day, this news made today just a little bit worse. Now I had to wait until I get home to blog a story that legit broke before I even left my house. I was dying to get my two cents out; it would've been a perfect start to my blogging day if I was #HireDdozo.
And here we are, I just checked the clock, and it's 6:13 PM. The glass-half-full take would say my day job saved me a blog since the Gilmore news cycle was wild and would've required some follow-ups.
As you already saw, initially, the news said the Pats released Gilmore.
As upset and shocked as I was to hear/read the news this morning, it wasn't that surprising given the nature of the Patriots and Gilmore's relationship the last 12 months and how they've operated since I was a kid. I know that may not make a ton of sense, but what that I write really does? Gilmore's not the first and sure won't be the last Patriot moved in a puzzling fashion. (I'm sure we'll say the same thing with Matt Judon in three years).
I was shocked at the timing of the move, just because I legit had my toothbrush in my hand as I was reading the text (God, my generation is so fucked), but knowing that Gilmore was an upcoming FA on the wrong side of 30 who wants to get another big deal, it actually makes a lot of sense.
I was like everybody else and pissed that the Patriots were just gonna straight up cut Gilly instead of trading him or waiting the year out; let him walk and hope you get a comp pick. As the day went on, news started to come out that the Patriots might trade Gilly after all.
A few hours later, Stephon Gilmore (former South Carolina Gamecock) was a Carolina Panther for just a 6th rounder.
I mean, in this spot, the Pats had no leverage since they already announced they were releasing him, but as a fan, when you see a 2x All-Pro, 3x Pro Bowler, 2019 DPOY move for only a 6th, it pisses you off.
This is just further proof that there's is no rhyme or reason to NFL trades. I'll never understand how the Patriots gave up a 2nd rounder for bum ass Mohamed Sanu; then, months later, DeAndre Hopkins (and a 4th) goes for the ghost of David Johnson and a 2nd.
If there's a bright side to this story, it's that I got to muck it up with a future coworker.
Dante is the man and one of the most underrated/appreciated people at Barstool IMO, and I'm not just saying that because I miiight work up the balls to DM him this blog. He's a music guy; I respect the shit out of his trivia game, and he's awesome with the Chicago crew.
I hope this means a J.C. Jackson deal is in the works, but given the Pats cap situation, especially as they try to make room for Jamie Collins, this trade starts to make more and more sense. They needed cap space, BAD.
Here's what Stephon and Belichick had to say about the move.
I haven't even gotten into Stephon Gilmore's on-field impact as a Patriot. I'll openly admit I was against the signing at the time and was 100% wrong. All I thought about was the 2016 Chris Hogan TD where he ran past Gilmore, and Gilmore had his head turned yapping at a safety instead of trying to cover. It's moments like this where I realize there's a reason Bill is so heartless (or at least appears to be) when it comes to wheelin' and dealin'.
I wanted the Patriots to lock up Malcolm Butler; I was emotionally attached to him because of the Super Bowl XLIX game-saving INT. I still think regardless of whatever he did to get benched in Super Bowl LII, Bill should've played him since it would've given them the best chance to win, but in terms of picking one or the other, Bill made the right call. Gilmore was a much better corner than Butler, and if I had a PFF subscription, I could give you data to back it up.
With a solid core of J.C. Jackson, Jonathon Jones, and Jalen Mills, the Pats can afford to move on from Gilly (Maybe his lack of a J name was his final undoing?) at this point in his career. I get why fans are mad; of course, you would've much rather seen him moved last year when the price was much higher (which FTR, I supported).
With his Patriot career officially over, Stephon Gilmore has to go down as one of, if not the best big-money free agent signings in Patriots history. In four seasons he made three Pro Bowls, two All-Pro teams, won defensive player of the Year, made the game-ending PBU in the 2017 AFC Championship Game...
...and what was essentially the game-winning play in Super Bowl LIII.
So Stephon Gilmore is officially gone, it sucks, I would've liked to see what he could've added to this defense, but I guess now we can say "at least we got something." Hopefully, I'm wrong with that Judon joke.
I always find it kind of weird when teams that played each other in the championship of their respective sport make a trade with one another. Maybe this is the Pats way of thanking the Panthers and John Kasay for his kickoff out of bounds that helped set up Adam Vinatieri's second career Super Bowl-winning field goal in February of 2004? Wouldn't that be some shit if the Packers offered a 5th, but Kraft and Belichick were like, "no, not after what Desmond Howard did to us in New Orleans."