Patriots

Is Gilmore's minicamp absence excused? Belichick dodges question

Patriots

Stephon Gilmore wasn't present at the New England Patriots' first mandatory minicamp session Monday, and the team doesn't expect to see him anytime soon.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked Tuesday if Gilmore's absence Monday was excused. Here's how he responded:

"I don't expect him to be here. Yeah, we'll just focus on the guys that are here."

Belichick noted Monday that weather impacted some players' travel plans to Foxboro, but that's reportedly not the case with Gilmore, who appears to be holding out for a new or re-worked contract.

The 30-year-old cornerback is entering the final year of his deal with a $16.3 million cap hit but just $7 million in base salary, which is below market value for the four-time Pro Bowler and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year.

Curran: Who has the leverage between Patriots and Gilmore?

The Patriots have just two more minicamp practices Tuesday and Wednesday before taking more than a month off prior to training camp in late July, so Gilmore's absence this week isn't cause for too much alarm.

But if Gilmore's holdout continues into training camp or the preseason, then his contract situation -- and the state of the Patriots' cornerback group -- will be worth monitoring much more closely.

"A couple of those guys I don't think we'll see (in minicamp), but I mean, look, all the players want to get out there and participate," Belichick added Tuesday. "So if they can, they will. If they can't, then we'll do what we can do with them and get them out there when we can."