Stephon Gilmore knows all too well what it's like to compete against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
During his five years as a member of the Buffalo Bills, the Pro Bowl corner went 2-9 against Bill Belichick's club. One of those wins came at the end of the 2014 season when New England already had the No. 1 overall seed locked up. The other came last season when rookie Jacoby Brissett was starting at quarterback.
Gilmore's familiarity with the Patriots and the way they do business helped him decide to join them by signing a long-term free-agent deal when the new league year began last week.
"My thoughts when I got the call from the New England Patriots was just excitement," Gilmore told Patriots.com. "I got a lot of respect for this organization, and just for me, being part of this organization, it was a blessing to [sign]."
In Week 8, about a month after Brady's return from suspension, Gilmore was reminded of all the things that makes the Patriots so difficult to beat. He was targeted five times and allowed four catches for 105 yards, though on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan, it appeared as though he was expecting safety help that never came.
"Attention to detail, technique's sound, everybody do they're job, and they find a way to win," Gilmore said of his new club. "That's what's important in the NFL."
Gilmore is being paid like a No. 1 corner as his new deal gives him $31 million fully guaranteed and $40 million in injury guarantees at signing, according to ESPN, including an $18 million signing bonus. His addition gives the Patriots one of the most talented secondaries in football along with corner Malcolm Butler and safeties Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon.
Though he may be the highest-paid player in the group, Gilmore seems to understand that he's not the only one with high expectations in his new club's defensive backfield.
"Everybody's got the same goal. They want to do whatever they can to help this team win," Gilmore said. "I'm just one part of it. I'm gonna do whatever I can to help this team win."