Rumor: Patriots tried to trade Stephon Gilmore to the Eagles
In a shocking move, the Patriots have parted ways with former DPOY Stephon Gilmore after the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract.
After trading for CJ Henderson just last week, Carolina swept in to acquire the stellar corner as New England had planned to release him. Gilmore is owed roughly $7M in base salary this season.
The #Panthers traded for Stephon Gilmore, sending a 2023 sixth-round pick to New England.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 6, 2021
Not eligible to come off the PUP list until Week 7, the Panthers will hope that a fully healthy Gilmore can help fill the void left by promising rookie Jaycee Horn.
However, the four-time Pro Bowl corner almost found a new home immediately following his DPOY campaign in 2019. According to former Eagles coach and game manager Ryan Paganetti, New England nearly made a deal that would’ve sent Gilmore to Philadelphia in exchange for Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz:
Back in 2020, I was told the #Patriots were trying to trade Gilmore to the #Eagles for a package involving Zach Ertz, but ultimately Philadephia did not follow through with it. An interesting what if scenario….. https://t.co/SBNIp6FvTb— Ryan Paganetti (@PaganettiRyan) October 6, 2021
Ertz was coming off a productive season in his own right, catching 88 passes for 916 yards and 6 TDs in 2019. At the time, New England was in desperate need of a tight end before signing Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith this past offseason.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also made his interest in Ertz known during training camp this summer, speaking with him at their joint practices:
👀 @ZERTZ_86 warmly introducing @Patriots coach Bill Belichick to his wife @julieertz. Coach to Ertz “I’m still going to get you some day.” Ertz with a smile. Belicihick responds “But Howie wants 2 first round picks. AND 2 of my grandchildren!” 🤣 pic.twitter.com/XyI0BWXgNZ— Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) August 16, 2021
The Eagles were actively shopping the veteran tight end last offseason as there was presumably bad blood between him and GM Howie Roseman. Those issues were seemingly rectified as Ertz returned to the team and is a focal point of the offense for Jalen Hurts this season.
Gilmore and Ertz are in different stages of their career now, but it would’ve been interesting to see another bonafide CB across Darius Slay — or if the Eagles would’ve even traded for Slay at all had they acquired Gilmore. Ertz has 13 catches for 153 yards and a TD so far this season.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports Boston