The 5 NFL groups who want Stephon Gilmore the most

UPDATE: This turned into written before Gilmore turned into dealt to the Carolina Panthers.

Invoice Belichick doesn’t await his big title avid gamers to stick around a yr too leisurely. For the previous two decades he’s been contented to jettison dear veterans even when it seems they’ve obtained masses left in the tank.

On Wednesday, venerable defensive player of the yr Stephon Gilmore joined Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour, Logan Mankins, and Jamie Collins on an ever-rising list of surprise Patriots departures. Recent England released the lockdown cornerback Wednesday, making him a free agent after four-plus seasons with Belichick.

The plod got right here true down to a contract deadlock. Gilmore turned into in the final season of a 5-yr, $65 million deal that turned into, at the time, considered one of the richest contract the Pats had ever handed out. Belichick and the 31-yr-ragged defensive encourage didn’t reportedly watch secret agent to secret agent on the sign of an extension. Slightly than limp through a lame duck yr with varying salary cap ramifications or figure out a trade, Recent England opted to enable the 5-time Pro Bowler to go early.

Gilmore hasn’t played this season resulting from a lower physique be anxious. He’s eligible to advance off the bodily unable to compose (PUP) list after Week 6. That methodology there’s no sail to signal a contract — but right here are the groups who are likely frantically texting his agent this morning.

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With Gilmore and newly-signed Richard Sherman, the Buccaneers may possibly field 2019’s most intimidating cornerback tandem. Tampa Bay’s rising young secondary has been derailed by be anxious and lackluster play. The team’s incapacity to leisurely opposing quarterbacks — it’s allowed a 102.6 passer rating and a league-worst 11 touchdown passes through four weeks — has emerged as a most likely fatal flaw.

That’s handiest going to win worse after Carlton Davis, the man who dubbed Michael Thomas “slant boy,” suffered a quadriceps be anxious against the Patriots that threatens to comprehend him off the sphere for a few weeks. He joins Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, two assorted rising defenders, amongst the team’s strolling wounded.

That gifts Gilmore with an opportunity to rejoin Brady, who’d give him a likelihood to form a 2d Colossal Bowl ring. He’d be a boon in a diminished assert, shunting journeymen look after Pierre Desir and Dee Delaney down the depth chart and providing necessary coverage while the team’s young weapons heal up.

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Adding one other aging venerable may possibly no longer be the infusion the Chiefs want, but Kansas Metropolis isn’t in web site to win choosy. Andy Reid’s team sits in final web site in the AFC West in section resulting from its defense has given up 29 aspects or more every sport this tumble.

Gilmore would toughen a secondary that’s allowed quarterbacks to throw for higher than 291 yards per sport. He’d be part of a cornerback team that contains final yr’s rookie sensation L’Jarius Sneed and venerable first round picks (but now no longer of the Chiefs) Deandre Baker and Mike Hughes. There’s tons of abilities in that team, on the opposite hand it hasn’t shined in 2021; Hughes and Sneed accept every allowed a passer rating of 116 or worse in coverage this season.

Gilmore wouldn’t handle Kansas Metropolis’s finest concerns, on the opposite hand. He’s now no longer going to punch up a plod sail that ranks in the league’s bottom four in both sacks and quarterback hits. He’s now no longer a rangy linebacker who can leisurely mobile quarterbacks or dash tailbacks from sideline-to-sideline. Nonetheless he’s a venerable chief who may also be the rising tide for a young secondary. That can possibly well be immensely necessary for Reid — even supposing it would grab some accounting gymnastics to suit the venerable into the team’s $3.1 million of salary cap residence.

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The Packers’ defense has been dealt two big blows this tumble. The first got right here when plod rusher Za’Darius Smith suffered a encourage be anxious that landed him on injured reserve in Week 1. Three video games later, lockdown corner Jaire Alexander left a prefer over the Steelers with his arm in a sling. Head coach Matt LaFleur isn’t obvious when both will return, but it doesn’t survey look after this can happen anytime quickly.

Right here is plod info for a team whose defense has averted it from capitalizing on a decade-plus of Aaron Rodgers. The final time Green Bay performed amongst the league’s high 5 groups in both aspects or yards allowed turned into 2011 — a date that now no longer so coincidentally strains up with the team’s final Colossal Bowl.

Adding Gilmore would provide Alexander insurance coverage, give 2021 first round use Eric Stokes some extra venerable steering, and limit the team’s publicity to Kevin King (a particular individual that performs cornerback look after he’s without end making an try to juggle invisible chainsaws). Green Bay doesn’t accept a ton of cap residence to work with, but can provide Gilmore someplace around $6 million to real his products and services for the relaxation of the season. That can possibly possibly be ample to persuade him to hitch up with a future Hall of Status quarterback for the 2d time in his profession.

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The Seahawks haven’t had an elite defense since 2016, but continue to prefer resulting from Russell Wilson is a magician. Sadly for Pete Carroll, his illusions sail skinny in the playoffs, the build his team hasn’t developed beyond the Divisional Round since getting broken by Malcolm Butler on the dumbest passing play in historical previous.

The team’s weakest link this tumble is a secondary that’s struggled to carry out colossal performs. Young veterans Tre Vegetation and Sidney Jones accept allowed a 78.6 percent completion rate in coverage, erasing any development D.J. Reed has made on the assorted aspect of the sphere.

Gilmore would stabilize that team, handle the excessive-profile assignments of a plod-contented NFC West, and add fairly of extra lockdown coverage for at any time when Jamal Adams gets sent as a lot as blitz (so, look after 1 in 3 snaps). The Seahawks want an insurance coverage coverage may possibly quiet Russ sail out of ingredients look after he did in 2020. Gilmore isn’t a most moving repair, but he’d be a originate.

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The Titans defense may be very contaminated. One amongst their fixes to toughen final yr’s 29th-ranked unit turned into to signal Janoris Jenkins, who rewarded that faith by making Zach Wilson survey look after a viable franchise quarterback. When you’ve given Jets fans hope, you’ve screwed up.

Mike Vrabel isn’t an real department of the Belichick instructing tree, but he undoubtedly acts look after one. He hasn’t been unnerved about rostering venerable Pats in years previous — Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, and Logan Ryan all logged well-known snaps in Nashville. Bringing in Gilmore would give Vrabel a tentpole corner able to establishing Carson Wentz, Davis Mills, and Trevor Lawrence all survey lifeless.

Tennessee is in web site for a third-straight playoff expose for the explanation that relaxation of the AFC South is a big quantity. Gilmore would provide an extra layer of protection in a skinny secondary, even supposing pairing him with Jenkins would give the Titans considered one of the oldest 1-2 punches at the web site.

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