Bill Belichick’s blunt reaction to Stephon Gilmore trade rumors after All-Pro CB stays with Patriots
The New England Patriots — unlike most teams in the NFL — did make a trade on Tuesday before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.
However, the deal struck by Bill Belichick was not exactly the move that many folks anticipated, as the Patriots acquired third-year wide receiver Isaiah Ford from the Miami Dolphins for a 2022 seventh-round draft choice.
On the other hand, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of Year, will remain a Patriot for now.
The Patriots were reportedly asking for a massive haul for the corner. Evidently, they were unable to find a buyer to match the steep price tag for the two-time All-Pro defensive back.
Belichick was characteristically cryptic last week when discussing the prospect of dealing Gilmore, and his tone remained consistently blunt in the hours after the deadline. In fact, Belichick denied having any knowledge of trade discussions existing:
#Patriots coach Bill Belichick, asked if the team entertained offers for Pro Bowl CB Stephon Gilmore: “Not that I'm aware of.” … For all the talk about Gilmore, it was very quiet.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 4, 2020
This is hardly believable, considering the famously detail-oriented coach oversees the franchise’s football operations. But Belichick could be simply trying to turn the page for the rest of 2020 now that the deadline has passed.
The Patriots cornerback shared a similar muted reaction to the non-trade, telling Josina Anderson that he had “no thoughts really” on the pre-deadline buzz:
Just spoke to #Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore who had no worries throughout the trade deadline. Gilmore said he had, "no thoughts really" on trade scuttlebutt today. He added, "I'm happy and blessed" and feels "fine…no difference" after his bout with CoVID19.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 3, 2020
Gilmore’s contract runs for one more season at $7.6 million, but comes with a $17 million cap hit. In all likelihood, the Patriots will part ways with the veteran in one way or another before the 2021 trade deadline.
Gilmore has one interception, one forced fumble, two passes defensed and 20 total tackles in six games in 2020. He didn’t play in Week 8’s game due to a knee injury, though New England was likely also being especially cautious because of trade talks.
The Patriots have struggled to a 2-5 record this season after a 2-1 start.