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Lawyer Milloy and Jamie Collins now have company in the VIP room. The exclusive club of ex-Patriot standouts jettisoned from Foxborough while still in their prime has gained a new member. This morning, the team released stud cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, sending him to the open market.
A stunner: Patriots are releasing four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform List after Week 6, source tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/31H8KQF8hq
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 6, 2021
Though many are likely surprised by the timing of the move, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the release stems from Gilmore and the team being unable to come to terms on a restructured deal. Gilmore, 31, and the team have been butting heads over his contract ever since last season, and the money squabble led Gilmore to skip Patriot minicamps this spring.
Following his release, Gilmore thanked the organization in a tweet:
“Pats nation, It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base. We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements. Thank you for supporting this Rock Hill kid and allowing him to achieve his NFL dreams.
“Mr. Kraft, the coaches and the organization thank you for providing me with this platform and allowing me to be part of greatness. Most of all I want to thank my teammates who lined up to me every Sunday with one goal in mind. Those moments on and off the field will never be forgotten.”
Gilmore likely won’t be unemployed for long. Though he’s currently nursing a quad injury, he’s a top-level talent and is expected to fully recover soon. The cornerback is slated to earn $7 million this season, well below average for a defensive back of his skill. Still, that should be enough to take care of the first round of drinks in the VIP room.