Patriots not open to trading Stephon Gilmore?

Stephon Gilmore is seeking a new contract, and there has been talk that the New England Patriots may have to trade the All-Pro cornerback. They are hoping to avoid that outcome, however.

Gilmore held out of minicamp and likely will not report to training camp without a new deal. He is set to make a base salary of $7.9 million in 2021, which is well below market value for a top cornerback. Despite that, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes that the negotiations between Gilmore and the Patriots have not seemed tense. The reporter also does not believe the Patriots have interest in trading Gilmore.

As Volin notes, New England shelled out $175 million in contract guarantees this offseason. Bill Belichick obviously wants to field a playoff contender this year, and trading his best defensive player would create a huge hole in the roster. Even with Gilmore coming off a quad injury, his importance to the Patriots’ defense cannot be overstated.

A report earlier in the offseason claimed it was viewed as a foregone conclusion that the Patriots would trade Gilmore. That seems like a last resort at this point, though things could change if contract negotiations take an ugly turn.