That was the instant reaction, but a fifth-round pick, not matter how high his ceiling is or how promising his talent, cannot and will not replace what Gilmore gives to Bill Belichick’s defense. Unless, of course, the Patriots coach feels J.C. Jackson is ready to be the next man up, which is quite possible.
What is also possible is that Gilmore and the Patriots can’t find common ground when it comes to a contract extension.
That doesn’t mean the Patriots don’t want Gilmore or Gilmore don’t want to remain in New England, it just means it is a business and Patriots fans should be used to how Belichick runs his ship after more than 20 years of sailing.
New England Patriots send Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys for Michael Gallup
After trading running back Sony Michel, don’t be surprised if Gilmore is the next trade to send ripples throughout the NFL. It won’t be a complete shock given the player has been involved in trade rumors since the 2020 NFL Trade Deadline, but what the Patriots may get in return could increase their chances in the AFC East.
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The Cowboys have been linked as a team that would pursue Gilmore given their need for a top-level cornerback.
If completely healthy, and there is some question about that, Gilmore could start opposite Trevon Diggs in the Cowboys secondary. That would also give them some depth at the position along with veteran cornerback Anthony Brown and rookie cornerbacks Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright. He provides veteran leadership and championship experience to a Cowboys defense that looks pretty good on paper and even better with Gilmore on the field.
As for the Patriots, adding a talent like Michael Gallup obviously improves the receiving group. Yes, the team made a splash with the signing of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, but Agholor hasn’t been very impressive in a potential No. 1 receiver role and Bourne is a No. 3 receiver at best.
On the last year of his contract, Gallup is obviously entering a pivotal season in his career. At just 25 years old, the Colorado State product is coming off a season in which he contributed with 59 receptions for 843 yards and 5 touchdowns. That followed up a 2019 season in which he hauled in 66 passes for 1,107 yards and 6 touchdowns.
With what the Cowboys have at receiver in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, Gallup can be had for the right deal and one involving Stephon Gilmore could certainly get it done.
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This type of acquisition, if it happened, would be like the Brandon Cooks deal. He didn’t completely work out catching the ball from Tom Brady but Cooks still managed over 1,000 yards receiving that one season in New England. Gallup could put up similar numbers in a prove it year. At the least, he could put up similar production as he did in 2020, which would be a win for what the Patriots currently have at the position.
Defensively for the New England Patriots, the potential loss of Gilmore would hurt, but the wound wouldn’t be that deep because of the rise of J.C. Jackson. With an improved front seven, the secondary should benefit from more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The addition of veteran defensive back Jalen Mills along with the acquisition of Wade adds some depth. The Patriots also have Jonathan Jones and players like Myles Bryant and 2019 second-round pick Joejuan Williams looking to make more contributions in 2021.
In all, it’s a trade that works for both teams. Bill Belichick may even get some additional trade competition in the form for a mid to late-round pick in the process.