The NFL offseason moves are flying so fast, they’re barely even making the news cycle anymore. Yesterday, the Patriots resigned Stephon Gilmore to a 4-year deal. Today, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is reporting that there are two different options on the table that will get Gilmore to return to New England, and both of them are very appealing to the team’s newest free agent.

Stephon Gilmore has reportedly narrowed down his list of possible destinations to two: the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots. It’s no secret that the 27-year-old cornerback has set his sights on playing for a winner. He has reportedly met with Minnesota twice already and was reportedly close to choosing the Vikings during a second meeting. However, he has since decided otherwise and is now reportedly favoring the Patriots.

According to the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots and free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore have reached out to teams to gauge their interest in the former Buffalo Bills cornerback. The Patriots reportedly had a first round grade on Gilmore and they could be shown the door if they don’t receive a proper counter-offer, especially in light of the recent loss of Gilmore to the Buffalo Bills in free agency.. Read more about bill belichick age and let us know what you think.

Bill Belichick must make a difficult choice that will have far-reaching consequences for the New England Patriots and their prospects of winning the Super Bowl. With Stephon Gilmore dissatisfied with his present deal, the renowned coach must decide whether or not to reward one of the team’s finest players. If Belichick doesn’t think Gilmore’s performance merits a raise, the Patriots will likely be without him for the 2021 season.

Will Belichick be able to entice Gilmore back to Foxborough? According to the most recent report on the unhappy defensive back, New England’s head coach has two very different alternatives to explore in order to persuade his best corner to return to work.

Under his current contract, Stephon Gilmore has no intentions to play for the Patriots.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t the only NFL player who has skipped offseason training. Gilmore’s troubles have everything to do with how much he’s expected to be paid for the 2021 season, while the reigning MVP’s problems go well beyond money.

The four-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Patriots in 2017. Gilmore started out to a rough start on defense, but he gradually became comfortable with the position and improved his game. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound cornerback was a crucial member of New England’s 2018 Super Bowl squad, and he went on to win the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Gilmore’s 2020 season was cut short by a partly torn quad in Week 15 against the Miami Dolphins.

Despite returning from a severe injury, the 31-year-old has said that he would not play under his existing contract terms. Gilmore’s 2021 salary is just $7 million because Belichick granted him a $5 million advance in September. Given his track record of productivity and contribution to the club, he obviously has some power over the Patriots. Gilmore may not receive what he wants from his current club, considering Belichick’s history of moving on from players who want to be compensated.

The great cornerback is said to be open to two possibilities in order to return to work.

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore signals to the crowd after a win.

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore signals to the crowd after a win. Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots waves to the fans following the team’s victory against the Las Vegas Raiders. | Getty Images/Maddie Meyer

Gilmore has a specific request for the Patriots. According to Michael Giardi of the NFL Network, the upcoming free agent has two choices that might bring him back to work.

“Regarding Stephon Gilmore… I’m told his camp is open to a multi-year deal, but would also be prepared to accept a one-year pay cut — with free agency looming next season – to make this work,” Giardi tweeted on Monday. “There is still time to reach a compromise. The #Patriots vets aren’t expected until July 27.”

Based on that information, Gilmore has pushed Belichick into a position that will cost him money regardless of how the issue is handled. On the one hand, the Patriots can keep the partnership going for another year if they agree to pay the underpaid defense a bigger salary next season. Another $5 million salary raise seems to be a viable option for bringing Gilmore back on board.

Giardi’s study, on the other hand, suggests that a long-term agreement may be reached. Gilmore’s willingness to sign a multi-year deal should come as no surprise, given that he’s already beyond 30. Belichick, on the other hand, may be hesitant to risk tens of millions of dollars on an elderly cornerback who had a serious lower-body injury in December. He may have no option but to give in to Gilmore if he wants to contend for a Super Bowl championship this season.

What is Bill Belichick’s best course of action in the Gilmore situation?

What is the best course of action for the Patriots in regards to Gilmore’s contract?

For Belichick, the choice boils down to a trade-off between the immediate and long term. In free agency, he went all-in to improve a team that was severely lacking in quality. He may not want to lock up additional future financial resources before the 2021 season starts after signing many players to multi-year contracts this spring. He must, though, weigh the ramifications of deploying a defense without Gilmore.

Even if the perennial Pro Bowler only performs at 80% of his peak, that’s still better than the majority of teams’ cornerbacks. Gilmore’s length, technique, and underappreciated physicality make him a key part of a Patriots front seven that seems to be much better. With Gilmore on board, that squad seems to be championship-caliber. New England seems to have the pieces in place to contend for a Super Bowl victory this season, thanks to the improvements made by Belichick on the opposite side of the ball.

In this instance, a one-year pay increase makes the greatest sense for all parties involved. Gilmore will return to work if he is given a raise. At the same time, his approaching free agency will provide plenty of incentive for him to play at an All-Pro level once again. Most significantly, for the 2021 season, the Patriots will have their finest cover corner ready to go.

Furthermore, by choosing the less expensive alternative put forward by Gilmore, Belichick will leave his choices open for 2022 and beyond.

Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.

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