Any smoke surrounding a Stephon Gilmore trade quietly dissipated Tuesday.
The New England Patriots didn't deal the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year prior to the NFL trade deadline despite swirling rumors that included a local real estate watch.
But did New England come close to trading Gilmore? Head coach Bill Belichick was asked Wednesday if the Patriots "at least entertained" offers for the 30-year-old cornerback.
"Not that I'm aware of," Belichick responded.
ESPN's Dianna Russini reported Tuesday that teams at least called the Patriots about a Gilmore trade, but that New England was demanding a first-round pick and a player in return.
It sounds like discussions didn't go much further than that, per the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport also suggested things were "very quiet" on the Gilmore front.
Now would have been the perfect time to trade the 30-year-old Gilmore, who is on the second-to-last year of his deal and still has plenty of value after two first-team All-Pro campaigns.
As our Tom E. Curran explained Tuesday, though, teams may have been wary of giving Gilmore a raise he reportedly is expected to demand in 2021 amid COVID-19 related salary cap restraints.
Curran also noted the Patriots weren't in a hurry to deal Gilmore if the price wasn't right. So, it sounds like Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio set a lofty asking price, then simply moved along when no team took them up on their offer.