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Stephon Gilmore isn’t planning on a holdout after all. Per ESPN”s Field Yates, Gilmore was present when the veterans reported to New England Patriots training camp Thursday — ending any speculation of a potential holdout over a contract dispute.
Gilmore and the Patriots have not made progress on reaching a new deal, despite the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year wanting a contract extension making him one of the highest paid cornerbacks in the game. Gilmore is entering the final year of his contract and his total cash value of $7.7 million is good for just 26th in the league amongst cornerbacks. That’s a low price for a player who has currently outperformed his deal.
Gilmore didn’t have much leverage if he held out as he would face a $50,000 fine for each missed day of practice. With Gilmore reporting to camp and being placed on the PUP list, former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry pointed out Gilmore’s quad injury “could give him cover for a ‘hold in’ where he reports to training camp to avoid fines and doesn’t participate in practices because he isn’t ‘100 percent’ until the sides find common ground.”
In other words, the Patriots and Gilmore created some extra time to work out a deal while Gilmore avoids fines for missed practice.
Despite playing just 11 games last year due to the season-ending quad injury, Gilmore still had a Pro Bowl season and was one of the better cover corners in the league. Opposing quarterbacks had just a 66.7 passer rating targeting Gilmore while completing 56.3% of their passes. Teams were still afraid to test Gilmore, targeting him just 48 times — which explains why he only ended up with three passes defended on the year.
The Patriots and Gilmore have time to resolve their differences. Gilmore showing up to Foxborough was a good start.