Patriots part ways with Stephon Gilmore in shocking move


Stephon Gilmore won't return to the New England Patriots in Week 6, after all.

The Patriots released Gilmore on Wednesday morning, the veteran cornerback confirmed in a statement to fans on Twitter.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report New England is releasing Gilmore, who had yet to play in a game this season but was eligible to come off the Physically Unable To Perform list in Week 6.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. ET): The Patriots have traded Gilmore to the Panthers in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick, Carolina announced Wednesday afternoon. Our Phil Perry explains the move here.

Gilmore and the Patriots couldn't agree to terms on a restructured contract, per Schefter. The 31-year-old was making $7 million in base salary this season on the final year of a five-year contract and carried a $16.3 million cap hit.

New England attempted to trade Gilmore before releasing him, our Phil Perry reports.

The Patriots will gain more financial flexibility with Gilmore's salary off the books but won't get any assets in return for a very talented player.

The 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time First-Team All-Pro is expected to draw significant interest on the open market, and Perry noted the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers among those who might be calling up Gilmore's agent.

Gilmore was in his fifth season with the Patriots and made three Pro Bowls in New England since coming over from the Buffalo Bills in 2017.