Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots releasing Pro Bowl CB Stephon Gilmore

Oct 6, 2021 at 6:14 AM--

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the New England Patriots are set to release Stephon Gilmore. The Pro Bowl and All-Pro cornerback is scheduled to come off the physically-unable-to-perform list after Week 6. He underwent surgery for a torn quad in December but is expected to be recovered in the coming weeks.

The Patriots and Gilmore could not agree to terms on a restructured contract and will reportedly part ways. New England needed some salary-cap flexibility, and Gilmore, who is on the final year of his contract, owns a base salary of $7 million.

Gilmore has been open about his displeasure surrounding his current contract situation. He signed a five-year, $65 million in 2017. The cornerback skipped portions of the Patriots' offseason, feeling he should be among the highest-paid players at his position.

This offseason, there was trade speculation surrounding Gilmore. Many San Francisco 49ers fans were hoping general manager John Lynch and company could figure out a way to land the talented veteran cornerback. The need is certainly there now. San Francisco lost starter Jason Verrett for the season in Week 1. Josh Norman missed this past weekend's game due to a lung contusion but is expected to return. Slot corner K'Waun Williams is still slated to miss more time with a calf injury.

This morning, Gilmore tweeted a goodbye to Patriots fans.

"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base," Gilmore wrote. "We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements. Thank you for supporting this Rock Hill kid and allowing him to achieve his NFL dreams."

Gilmore is a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2016, 2018-20), a two-time first-team All-Pro (2018, 2019), and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. Interest in the cornerback should be extremely high; probably too high for the 49ers to contend for his services. currently lists San Francisco with about $4.2 million in salary-cap space.

The Buffalo Bills drafted Gilmore (6-1, 202) out of South Carolina with the No. 10 overall pick in 2012.

Gilmore, 31, has recorded 411 tackles, a sack, 114 passes defensed, 25 interceptions, two touchdowns, and seven forced fumbles through his nine NFL seasons played.

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