BOSTON (CBS) — The preseason is over and the Patriots have two weeks before they kick things off for real against the Miami Dolphins. Maybe before that game, there will be a little more clarity on the Stephon Gilmore situation.
The cornerback missed all of the preseason as he remains sidelined with a quad injury. It’s looking extremely likely that the veteran will start the regular season on PUP, which will keep him out for six games. If he’s taken off PUP, he’d be eligible to play Week 1.READ MORE: NFL Adds Monday Night Playoff Game To Wild Card Weekend
That decision will come before Tuesday’s cut-down deadline at 4 p.m., but there remains the matter of Gilmore’s contract, with the corner heading into the final year of his deal with New England. He’s being paid well below what star corners around the league are being paid, and he would like that to change — though he’s also said that he wants to remain a Patriot if the two sides can find common ground.
There is a lot up in the air with Gilmore, even though the player himself remains grounded. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Gilmore’s situation on Monday morning, and if the picture would be a little more clear when the team has to trim the roster down to 53 players on Tuesday.
In true Belichick fashion, the head coach offered very little on that front.READ MORE: Patriots-Saints What To Watch For: A 'Do Your Job' Week For Pats Against Alvin Kamara
“We have a lot of roster decisions to make and some of those are intertwined,” Belichick told reporters during his Monday morning Zoom session. “Some of the rules have changed from what they’ve been in the past, so what we might have done in a different year at a different point in time may not be relevant now. We’ll take a look at everything and evaluate stuff day by day. Several players are in a similar situation and we’ll get the most up to date info we can and make the best decision we can for our football team.”
The Patriots have taken a day by day approach with Gilmore all summer, but they’re starting to run out of days with the regular season just around the corner. Last week, Belichick said that Gilmore has been doing work away from the practice field, and he’d be back when he can be back.
While Gilmore isn’t making much salary-wise this season, he does carry a cap hit of just over $16 million. A trade remains possible, while an outright cut is unlikely.
But the New England defense and secondary have a chance to be special if Gilmore is in the mix, especially if he can return to being the Stephon Gilmore that earned First Team All-Pro honors in 2018 and 2019. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to do so with the 30-year-old coming off injury, and it’d be nice if the team could get a look at him on the field before the season starts.MORE NEWS: Thursday Night Football Claims Pair Of High-Profile Panthers To Injury
Unfortunately, it remains unknown if Gilmore will be part of the mix in 2021.