Stephon Gilmore is a stud at arguably the most important position on an NFL defense.
Bona fide shutdown corners like him don’t come around quite as often as playoff appearances by Tom Brady.
The Patriots, however, have to make a decision on what to do with Gilmore, who is in the final year of his five-year, $65 million deal.
Currently, Gilmore is scheduled to make $7 million next season, but he also carries a sizable $16.262 million cap hit, per Over The Cap.
So, should they keep him at the risk of losing him for nothing next year, extend him to lower his 2021 cap hit or trade him?
All of those scenarios are on the table as the Patriots sink their teeth into an offseason like few others on Bill Belichick’s watch. The Hoodie needs to revamp and revitalize a team that didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons.
What ultimately happens with Gilmore should help set the course for the 2021 season and beyond.
The veteran corner turns 31 in September. He’s coming off a season where he missed five games due to injury and COVID-19, and wasn’t quite the same player as the previous year, when he won Defensive Player of the Year.
Still, Gilmore remains among the best at his position. And, in that context, he’s the Patriots’ best trade chip.
While the first inclination would be to extend his…