When news broke Wednesday morning that the New England Patriots planned to release cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 49ers, along with a number of other contenders, seemed like a logical next destination for the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.
But Gilmore never hit the market, as the Patriots ended up trading the veteran corner to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
During his media availability on Wednesday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan discussed the 49ers' thoughts on trying to acquire Gilmore.
"We looked into all of it," Shanahan told reporters. "We obviously didn't go through with it."
After losing top cornerback Jason Verrett for the season due to a torn ACL, the 49ers could have used Gilmore's services. However, Gilmore reportedly wants a lucrative new contract and the 49ers would have had to consider the long-term financial ramifications of such a deal had Gilmore hit the market.
Gilmore also is coming off a quadriceps surgery which could have made the 49ers hesitant to make a deal.
But parting with a Day 3 pick in exchange for a Pro Bowl cornerback is a price worth paying. The Panthers will take on the remainder of Gilmore's 2021 salary, and Carolina GM Scott Fitterer told reporters there are no immediate plans to sign Gilmore to a longer deal.
The 49ers, on the other end, are comfortable sticking with a cornerbacks group of Emmanuel Moseley, Josh Norman, Dre Kirkpatrick, Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas and Buster Skrine. Nickelback K'Waun Williams is expected to be out for a few weeks with a calf strain.