Stephon Gilmore tends to go about his business quietly. While he's unafraid to speak his mind, he often does so in hushed tones.
Given that he held out of Patriots mandatory minicamp earlier this month, anything he says or does publicly will be amplified. And such will be the case with his most recent tweet -- oh, the numbers it will do -- despite the fact that he says very little.
That was it.
But paired with an image from CBS Sports that depicts the 10 highest-paid corners in the NFL, suddenly Gilmore's tweet carries more meaning. If his minicamp holdout (which led to over $93,000 in fines) wasn't enough for anyone to get the message that he wasn't happy with his contract, Tuesday's tweet will serve as a quick social-media reminder.
The 10 corners laid out in the CBS tweet who are paid more on an average annual basis than Gilmore are Jalen Ramsey ($20 million), Marlon Humphrey ($19.5 million), Tre'Davious White ($17.3 million), Darius Slay ($16.7 million), Byron Jones ($16.5 million), Xavien Howard ($15 million), James Bradberry ($14.5 million), Marcus Peters ($14 million), Trae Waynes ($14 million) and William Jackson ($13,5 million).
Gilmore averages $13.0 million per year on his contract with the Patriots, but this season he is scheduled to make just $7 million in base salary after receiving an advance last offseason to bump his 2020 pay.
Should Gilmore's holdout continue into training camp, he's looking at fines of $50,000 per day and almost $1.2 million in fines if he were to sit out all three Patriots preseason games.
According to former NFL agent and CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry, our guest on the latest Next Pats Podcast, it would be reasonable for Gilmore to seek a deal like Slay's -- if not something more substantial.
After being traded from the Lions to the Eagles at 29 years old, Slay was paid among the best at his position. Gilmore will be 31 this coming season but is widely regarded as the better player. The Patriots, Corry explained, may counter with offering an incentive-laden deal for 2021 or a simple raise of a few million dollars to get Gilmore to a base salary in the range of $11.5 million, which is what he was scheduled to make before last year's adjustment to his contract.
Complicating a possible compromise between Gilmore and the Patriots is the fact that he will be headed into his 10th season this year as he comes off a quad injury that helped limit him to just 11 games in 2020. If Gilmore wants the Slay deal, and if the Patriots want to settle for an incentive-laden contract or a raise of a few million dollars, that's a relatively sizable chasm for the two sides to bridge.
While there was not much in the way of consternation coming from Bill Belichick or Gilmore's teammates during minicamp when they were asked about the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, Gilmore's tweet is the latest sign that the shutdown corner would like a new contract. All two words of it.