The reason for Stephon Gilmore’s Patriots holdout, revealed
New England Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore skipped out on the team’s mandatory minicamp, but his holdout might bode well for his future with the organization.
Gilmore is in the final year of his current contract and is undoubtedly hoping for new money. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN noted Gilmore’s holdout is meant to serve as an avenue for extension talks with the Patriots:
“Cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn’t report to mandatory minicamp, and while some holdouts can become acrimonious, my sense on Gilmore’s mindset is different,” Reiss reported. “He seems to enjoy being a Patriot, is open to sticking around, and this was his least-expensive-but-most-decisive way of sparking more productive contract talks with the team, so he can feel better about being part of New England’s present and future.”
There is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the Patriots’ stance on Gilmore.
New England has suggested it would entertain offers for the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year as he prepared to enter a contract year. Perhaps Bill Belichick still hopes to make a move and acquire future draft value if he’s confident with his current batch of secondary players. Then again, replacing Gilmore is no easy task, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft clearly has an affinity for the All-Pro corner.
For his part, Gilmore has said he would like to remain with the Patriots at various points during the offseason. That could also change, though, if New England stalls on extension talks over the next few months.