New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore excited to be a Patriot

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 05: Stephon Gilmore
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 05: Stephon Gilmore /

The New England Patriots made an uncharacteristic free agent splash this offseason with the signing of former Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

He is soft spoken, he is talented and he is focus.  When the New England Patriots signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal in the offseason, NFL insiders and fans were more than surprised.

Not only was it something Bill Belichick rarely does, the defending Super Bowl champions already had their own top cornerback in Malcolm Butler.  The signing suggested the team was ready to move on from Butler, but instead the Patriots have potentially one of the best cornerback tandems in football.

Was it all done on purpose?

That is a question Belichick will never answer directly, but with a schedule loaded with taller receivers, the future Hall-of-Fame coach needed someone bigger.  He also needed a replacement and upgrade for the departed Logan Ryan.

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With rumors also swirling this offseason that there was some contact with the Seattle Seahawks regarding Richard Sherman, it appears the Super Bowl-winning coach was out to create a dynamic duo in the defensive backfield with or without Butler.

So, now we have Gilmore who is more than excited to go from the Buffalo Bills to the Patriots.

In an interview with WBZ-TV, Gilmore talked about the day he was signed by the New England Patriots and is also enthusiastic about joining the top organization in football.

"“It’s one thing getting drafted; you remember that day no problem.  But it’s another thing when you get picked up by the Patriots,” Gilmore said.  “It’s very exciting.  I told my wife the other day that when I put the helmet on for the first time, that’s when I really felt like a Patriots.”"

Malcolm Butler’s take

While many may assume Malcolm Butler would be unhappy playing next to a guy who signed the type of contract he hopes to earn, the fourth-year corner is going about his business like a pro.

Related Story: New England Patriots: Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore a top 5 tandem

In fact, Butler is out to prove he is worth top-corner money and feels teaming with Gilmore will help his value.  When asked at the start of training camp if he and his new teammate could be one of the best duos in the league, Butler said he did believe it and didn’t back down from believing that they could be the best.

"“We around,” Butler said when asked if they could be the top duo, via WEEI.  “We around.  Actions speak louder than words.  We’ll have our time to prove that.”"

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As one of the top stories entering training camp, Stephon Gilmore’s transition to his new team and Malcolm Butler’s work ethic will be worth watching. The actions will speak volumes, but the results will say a lot about the worth of both players.