Stephon Gilmore's discontent with his existing contract isn't enough to keep him from reporting to work.
Gilmore was among the veterans who arrived for New England's training camp ahead of the team's official report date of July 27, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo and NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported. He'll begin camp on the physically unable to perform list with a quadriceps injury that landed him on injured reserve near the end of the 2020 season.
According to the collective bargaining agreement, injured players (who ended 2020 on IR or an injury-related reserve list) may be required to report to camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date, provided the club has already opened camp for rookies. The Patriots required rookies to report to camp on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility for the team to require Gilmore and other injured veterans to report since he has a preexisting injury.
Gilmore earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019 after tying for the league lead in interceptions with six, but didn't quite enjoy the same success in 2020 before suffering his season-ending quad injury. His offseason has been filled with rumblings of his displeasure with his contract, which is currently scheduled to pay him $7.7 million in 2021 and account for $16.2 million of New England's cap space.
While $7.7 million is still good money, it's nowhere near that of the league's average annual value for premier players at the position, which lands at $20 million (Rams corner Jalen Ramsey) and above $15 million for the top five corners. Gilmore has been looking to adjust this difference, with two paths possible to reach such a goal: a one-year raise or a long-term extension.
At 30 years old (Gilmore turns 31 in September), a long-term deal wouldn't seem to fit the Patriots' method for team building, so a one-year raise appears more logical. But with Gilmore on the PUP list to begin camp, New England's hesitation (if not outright reluctance) to adjust Gilmore's contract is more understandable.
Gilmore did, however, report to camp when requested, which is the most important bit of news. He'll avoid fines ($50,000 per day) for any potential absences after reporting, but with his contract situation still not addressed, we'll continue to monitor the situation until the two sides reach a resolution -- if they do at all.