New England Patriots

Report: Free agent Stephon Gilmore open to second stint with Patriots

Gilmore is one of the top free agents still available.

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The New England Patriots have a lot of weaknesses on offense to address during what's left of NFL free agency, as well as the 2024 NFL Draft next month.

Quarterback, offensive tackle and wide receiver are the three most notable positions that badly need an injection of high-end talent and depth.

And even though the Patriots' defense is a very strong unit overall, there are a few spots on that side of the ball that could use an upgrade, too.

One of them is cornerback.

The Patriots will get promising 2023 first-round pick Christian Gonzalez back from injury, but they have also lost veteran cornerback J.C. Jackson, as well as safeties Jalen Mills and Adrian Phillips, from their secondary so far this offseason.

While many of the top cornerbacks who hit the free agent market are no longer available, there's still one intriguing player still unsigned: Stephon Gilmore.

And according to MassLive's Karen Guregian in a story published Tuesday, Gilmore is open to another stint with the Patriots.

Gilmore was signed by the Patriots to a huge contract in free agency in 2017. He played very well for the Patriots over four seasons, including an excellent performance in their Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams during which he tallied an interception in the fourth quarter. Gilmore also won 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first cornerback to earn the award since Charles Woodson in 2009.

The Patriots traded Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers in October of 2021. He played for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022 and the Dallas Cowboys last season. Gilmore is no longer a top-five cornerback, but he's still a very good player and would bring valuable experience to the Patriots' depth chart. Not only has Gilmore played well since leaving the Patriots, he's also missed just one game over the past two seasons. He's still pretty durable at 34 years old.

The Patriots still have a little more than $50 million in salary cap space, so money shouldn't be an issue. Bringing in a player of Gilmore's caliber would make a ton of sense for New England.

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