Stephon Gilmore reports back to camp (on PUP for now), and that means he’s not holding up, right?
… Possibly to establish a contract extension to stay in New England this year and beyond. Since then, it’s been just tiny drops of information. He missed all OTAs and minicamps. He made a statement about how he expects to be paid what he’s worth. Which is certainly well north of the $ 7 million he’s currently signed up for. And without much news and nothing in terms of negotiations from both sides by the press, we all waited for the next shoe to drop. Specifically, Gilmore’s training shoes fall onto the grassy field behind Gillette when training camp officially begins next Friday.
And we finally have the answer as to whether he intends to report. And it is YES. And no.
So… they sort of split the baby on this one, I guess? If he does not show up, he risks a fine of $ 50,000 for each practice he cancels. He already has $ 93,085 in the hole for being AWOL last month. And apparently those fines are league rules, so those fines can’t just be erased like speeding appeals or forgiving $ 2 trillion in student loan debt.
So if Gilmore wasn’t on PUP and wasn’t on the training ground next week, those would be personal days that were costly for him and bad for the team. It seems to me that this is the best possible way to give everyone the time to find a deal that works for all parties involved. Of course, it’s easier to accept that than to accept the idea that an incredibly athletic defensive POTY is still bothered by a quad injury that shut him down last November. I injured my quad a month ago, rested and laid it down several times a day and run full speed on it. And I’m a fast aging bastard who looks like a corpse pulled from the river after two weeks. Surely Gilmore is 100%. Or close enough for him to work with the team if it hadn’t been for the contract.
Speaking of which, I mention drops of information. And here’s the biggest one so far:
Which for me is a great development. If this is true, it shows that neither side is issuing ultimatums. Ideally, they establish a long-term extension that keeps him in New England until his mid-30s. This is doable given that the cap will increase further over the next few years. If they can’t make the numbers work, they give him a thumbs up this year to make him happy and thank him for his service. It is also doable because depending on @PatsCap, they still have $ 12 million in cap room now that all of their recruits are signed. With a one-year contract, for Gilmore, they can get down to business making JC Jackson their best corner in the long run and get down to business finding his replacement on the other side.
The bottom line is that in either scenario everyone wins. The only way the system has failed is if Gilmore holds on, only plays part of the season, and costs a team that needs to get off to a good start their best player for a month and a half or more. Hopefully my generally overly optimistic take on this is correct, so I can finally focus on everyone for that Father’s Day scoop. The wait is killing me.