New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore could be used to trade for star WR

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 04: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 04: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots training camp is officially set to kick off this upcoming week, which means football is almost back. Players have already begun to report, and there is a general feeling of excitement in the air as the Pats look to overcome last seasons misery.

One player who recently reported that wasn’t expected to is Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is embroiled in a contract dispute with the Patriots, but made the decision to report the other day. However, he has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, so it doesn’t seem like he will be seeing the field anytime soon.

There has been much debate in these parts as to whether coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots should open up the checkbook for Gilmore, or send him packing. Gilmore reporting to minicamp is an unexpected twist in this saga, and it will be interesting to see how this affects the situation.

If Gilmore is going to get traded, there may be a star wide receiver who could be available for the taking that wasn’t initially expected to be. It’s safe to say the secondary is an area of strength for the Patriots at this time, but the receiver room feels like it’s missing another guy or two. That’s why a trade for Davante Adams could by in play for the New England Patriots here.

Could the New England Patriots trade Stephon Gilmore for Davante Adams?

For those who aren’t aware, the Green Bay Packers currently have found themselves in quite a sticky situation. Not only has their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers requested a trade and openly contemplated retirement, but now they have Davante Adams turning down long-term extensions from them. And if the rumors weren’t already hot enough, both players posted an image of Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” series on their Instagram stories this morning, only adding to the mystery of the situation.

Tension has bubbling over in Green Bay all offseason long, and it’s only a matter of time until that bubble pops. Adams has hinted that his future in Green Bay is up in the air previously this offseason, but his refusal to re-sign with the Packers has really thrown his future in doubt now. And a receiver needy team like the Patriots should absolutely be paying close attention to his situation.

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Adams has gradually developed himself into one of the top wide receivers in the game over the past few seasons. 2018 was his true breakout season, but Adams really cemented himself as a top five wideout last season. He had 115 catches for 1374 yards and a league leading 18 touchdowns (all in just 14 games), which helped him earn First Team All Pro honors.

You can make the argument that Adams was the best wide receiver in the league last season, and the fact that he may be available in the coming weeks would send shockwaves around the league. Rarely do players of Adams caliber get made available, so the chance to land a player like him would instantly make the Patriots better.

Obviously trading for Adams is going to require a large package in return, even if he eventually ends up requesting a trade. Luckily for New England, they have their own star in Gilmore who is looking for more money, and they could end up building a package around him to make a move for Adams.

While Gilmore is still probably one of the best corners in the game, he will be 31 by the time the season starts, and is coming off a partially torn quad that ended his 2020 season. Adams on the other hand is just 28 and coming off his best season as a pro. Gilmore is a good start, but New England would obviously have to throw in a few more pieces if this were to work.

The need for New England is obvious; they had one of the worst receiver groups last season, and while they added Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, it still feels like they are missing a true number one wideout. And they spent more time than expected last season without Gilmore, but it didn’t seem to hurt too much with their strong secondary in place. J.C. Jackson showed he is more than capable of stepping up and being New England’s top corner if Gilmore ends up getting moved.

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Of course, Green Bay has one of the top corners in the NFL themselves in Jaire Alexander. But after that, there isn’t much in Green Bay’s secondary. Remember how old friend Tom Brady continually torched the Packers secondary in the NFC Championship Game last season? Green Bay could certainly use some extra help there.

This is probably an unrealistic trade given how much would have to happen for it to happen, but there’s a chance things could go south for either team and force their hand here. It’s clear the New England Patriots could probably use some help at wide receiver, and there aren’t many better than Davante Adams. The Pats have done a great job at putting themselves back on the map this offseason after a lackluster 2020 season, but a move for Adams would truly put them back into the discussion for the top team in the AFC East.