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Stephon Gilmore rumors: Panthers CB expected to make team debut Week 7 vs. Giants

The Patriots have found a buyer at a low, low price.

Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Update — The Panthers traded for Gilmore on Wednesday afternoon and GM Scott Fitterer told reporters later in the day Gilmore could make his team debut Week 7 vs. the New York Giants. Gilmore will be ready to come off the PUP list on Week 6.

The New England Patriots have traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 sixth round pick, per Tom Pelissero. The move comes following Adam Schefter’s report Wednesday morning that the team was going to release the All Pro cornerback.

Gilmore has been on the PUP list to start the season after offseason surgery on a quadricep injury that limited him to 11 games last season. Gilmore has also been unhappy about his contract and skipped the team’s mandatory minicamp. He is due $7 million in salary this season and up to $911,765 in roster bonuses.

Had Gilmore been released, he could have signed anywhere and immediately start practicing with the team. However, because he has been traded, he remains under his Patriots contract and has to remain on the PUP list for one more week. He can start practicing after six weeks.

The Panthers rank fifth in pass defense efficiency through four games. They held Dak Prescott to 188 yards this past weekend, but gave up four passing touchdowns in the loss. Their run defense was the bigger issue, but it’s hard to see anybody turning down a chance to improve their pass defense with a player of Gilmore’s caliber. Of course, the fact that they landed him for a 2023 sixth suggests other teams were not prepared to go as high, which is a big of a conundrum.