Patriots

Gilmore reveals one issue he had with Patriots before trade to Panthers

Patriots

Veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore will play against the New England Patriots as an opponent Sunday for the first time since they traded him to the Carolina Panthers last month.

Gilmore was placed on the PUP list by the Patriots before the season as he nursed a quad injury that he suffered last season. In his first meeting with Patriots reporters since the trade, Gilmore revealed that he wasn't pleased with how the team handled his injury.

“I wasn’t ready at the beginning of training camp, I’ll be completely honest with you," Gilmore said on a conference call Wednesday. "But the only thing is I didn’t like how they handled my situation with my injury. A lot went on with that that I didn’t agree with, and now that I’m (in Carolina), I’m able to do the things I have to do to get me back ready to where I need to be."

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Gilmore also was not happy with his contract situation entering the 2021 NFL season but his representation and the Patriots weren't able to work out a contract restructure or extension.

Did the Patriots make an offer for him to say or sweeten his current contract in some way?

"We had a conversation and it was better for both of us to go in opposite directions, whether it was the contract or whatever, it was best for us to go separate ways," Gilmore said.

 

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If the contract was part of the reason Gilmore isn't in New England anymore, why is he willing to play on the same contract in Carolina? 

"What I said earlier about, you know, that it's better for both of us to be in this position, and I'm happy I'm back home now," Gilmore said. "Things just didn't work out, and that's life. You have to move on and handle your situation the best way you can."

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Gilmore will be a free agent at the end of the season if he doesn't reach a new deal with the Panthers. Therefore, he should have plenty of motivation to finish the season strong and showcase his talents to potential suitors in free agency.

He still views himself as one of the best cornerbacks in football.

"I do. But as I always say, you have to earn it each week and make plays," Gilmore explained. "People don't just hand you that title, you have to do it every week. I just got back. Had a good start last week and now I have to build on that. You have to push the reset button every week and prove yourself in each game."