New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is the best candidate for the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, but one former rival of the defending Super Bowl champions doesn't see the 29-year-old defensive back as the most deserving player for that honor.
Former NFL cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who played 11 seasons from 2006 through 2016, tweeted Monday that his pick for the best defensive player in the league is Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White.
Calling on my DB committee...Quick question why isn’t Tre White up for Defensive player of the year talk?? Stats are similar if not better than Gilmore?— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) December 23, 2019
Ok this is my thing we said the best defensive not the market we play in. If the best defensive player is in a smaller market it’s not his fault. @nfl needs to stop and really do their Homework. Nothing against Gilmore at all I love his play, @TreWhite16 is my Def MVP.— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) December 23, 2019
White is having a tremendous season and his six interceptions is tied with Gilmore for the league lead. Gilmore has returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns, with the latest coming in New England's Week 15 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He's also allowed a passer rating under 35 on throws into his coverage and leads the league with 19 passes defensed. The 2018 All-Pro routinely shuts down the opposing team's best wide receiver as well.
Gilmore would be the first Patriots player ever to win the AP's NFL DPOY award, and his teammates already have begun to promote his candidacy on social media.
White admitted before Week 16 that he and Gilmore have exchanged texts over the last few months. Both of them were named to the Pro Bowl last week.
Cromartie played 12 games against the Patriots in his career, with most of those meetings coming from his time with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets. His teams went 4-8 in those matchups, including a heartbreaking 2006 Divisional Round game where the Patriots defeated a 14-2 Chargers team on the road in dramatic fashion.