Which teams need a star Corner?
By: Adam Martin
The New England Patriots have been in a little slump after Tom Brady left for Tampa Bay. They now look to be rebuilding in order to make a comeback and one player they can get value from is Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore was the defensive player of the year in 2019 and is a four time pro-bowler. He also won the Superbowl back in 2018 and at the age of 30 is one of the most experienced corners in the league. With that in mind, we look at some potential candidates to trade for Stephon Gilmore in order to improve their team.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a team that are defiantly in win now mode. It was only two years ago that they lost the Superbowl and they can get back there quickly. Last year they were decimated by injuries and this now gives them a massive opportunity to pick some good players in the draft. However, you do need the experience to go with the rookie picks and Stephon Gilmore would be a great choice. Currently, the 49er’s have got $23m of cap space available to use and Gilmore’s estimated value is around $9-10m a year.
Not only can the 49ers afford Gilmore, they also need a corner to replace the outgoing Richard Sherman. Although Sherman has not been as solid as he has been in the past, he will still leave a whole in the defense. Gilmore is exactly the type of player that the 49ers should be looking to acquire in order to win a Superbowl. Another reason for this to happen is that the 49er’s also have something that the Patriots want. With the 49er’s looking to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots wanting him, a trade is more likely to happen.
This is also a very attractive option for Gilmore given the 49er’s ability to compete. He is currently in New England who are not in a position to compete at the moment. Therefore a move to San Francisco would be an attractive option to him. The only downside to this move is that he would have to move across the country. Although this might not seem like a big deal he has spent five years in Buffalo and four in New England. If he is up for the move and the 49er’s are happy to pay around a second round pick then this could be a great move for everyone.
The Indianapolis Colts are another team who need to be looking for another high quality cornerback. There defense is very good and finished as the third best defense in the 20/21 season. However, one area that they do need some help is at the cornerback position. The Colts do have a quality corner in Xavier Rhodes but that is about as good as it gets. By bringing in a stud corner like Stephon Gilmore to play on the other side would be a massive statement by the Colts.
The Colts still have plenty of cap space so bringing in Gilmore wont be a problem. They currently have $44m of cap space so even if they did bring in Gilmore they would still have plenty of money left over. They also have the draft capital available in order to bring him in. The Patriots were after a first round pick last year but they may have to settle for a second and the Colts could do that.
For Gilmore this would be a very good move for him as he moves towards the end of his career. Not only do the Colts have a strong defense but they also have a strong overall team. They made it to the Wildcard round this year but with a few extra pieces they could get further over the next few years. Indianapolis have the potential to be genuine Superbowl contenders so this would be a great move for everyone concerned.
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team are another team that are in need of a quality cornerback. In a similar story to the Indianapolis Colts, Washington are a very good defense but they are weaker at the corner position. They have a great front seven which helped them to becoming the sixth best defense in the NFL last year. However, although they are talented they are a young and unexperienced group who could do with that extra experience. Gilmore is exactly the type of player who could do that and make them even stronger defensively.
The cap is not a concern when it comes to Washington as they currently have $54m to spend if they want to. With Gilmore estimated to cost around $9-10m a year they can make this deal happen easily. Also, thy would still have around $44m left which means they could use that to improve their offence. They have draft picks in the first and second rounds for this years draft so compensating the Patriots wont be a problem either. Washington might not be as big a contender as the other two teams mentioned but they do look decent. If they could improve their offence and bring in Gilmore this team could improve rapidly.
There are other teams who might be able to make a trade happen as their are a lot of teams needing a cornerback. The New York Jets are a team that need improvement all over the team. They have plenty of money available and the draft picks to trade for him. However, he is 30 and it feels like the Jets are in a full rebuild so might not want to spend so much on an ageing corner.
The Cleveland Browns looked good this year but could do with that extra experience in the team. If they wanted to trade for Gilmore they would have the picks to do it and also they have players that the Patriots would like. They did well without Odell Beckham so maybe that could be a potential move.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team who have plenty of money and draft capital to make this move happen. The Jags have the money and potential franchise QB to turn this around very quickly. However, like the New York Jets they are in a full rebuild and it would be surprising to see them go for Gilmore even though they can.