BOSTON (CBS) — Stephon Gilmore will be playing against his former team on Sunday. He’s going to be bringing some extra motivation.

The soft-spoken cornerback always chooses his words carefully. So it was no mistake when Gilmore aired out his grievances regarding the Patriots on Wednesday afternoon.

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“I just didn’t like how they handled my situation, my injury,” Gilmore said of the Patriots, per Mike Reiss. “A lot went on with that I didn’t agree with.”

For emphasis, Gilmore later added: “I just didn’t like how they handled my situation with my injury.”

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Gilmore’s injury was a torn quadriceps muscle, suffered late last season. He underwent surgery, and he told reporter Josina Anderson that he would be ready for training camp “if I need to be.” He ended up entering training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and he was never taken off the list before the Patriots traded him to Carolina.

While Gilmore failed to offer up the specifics of his disagreement, it still seems more likely that his issues with Bill Belichick and the Patriots was contractual, not physical. The team nipped $5 million off his 2021 salary in order to pay him extra in 2020. Yet when it came time to make good on the 2021 salary, the Patriots never budged.

“That’s a reason also, too,” Gilmore admitted, again via Mike Reiss. “But a lot goes on into it. It’s not just one specific thing. At the end of the day, it’s a business. They treat it like a business, and we made the best decision for each other. … We had a conversation and it was better for both of us to go in opposite directions, whether it was the contract or whatever.”

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Last week, Gilmore made his season debut, picking off Matt Ryan to seal a Panthers win. After that game, he was asked if he’ll have a little extra motivation to beat the Patriots. He responded by saying there would be “a lot extra.” Now, he’s at least shed some light on why that’s the case.

CBSBoston.com Staff