New England Patriots: 3 trade candidates before the start of the season

Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots trade candidate No. 1: Stephon Gilmore

Until his contract dispute with the team gets solved, Stephon Gilmore is going to continue to be New England’s top trade candidate. Even though he is unhappy with his contract, Gilmore has continued to remain around the team, but he still sits on the team’s physically unable to perform list, which is why he hasn’t seen the field yet.

To recap, Gilmore has let the team know he is looking for a raise early in the offseason, and the team has yet to resolve the issue. It seems like this issue should have been solved a few months ago, but with the regular season on the horizon, there’s still no indication of how this is going to play out.

The thing with Gilmore is that he could potentially land the Pats a star in return if he were to be traded. Guys like Winovich or Michel may land a pick or two, but Gilmore’s return would surely be much more enticing in New England ultimately decides to deal him. There are a number of unhappy superstars that New England could look to move for by using Gilmore as the centerpiece of their trade package.

The problem is New England would lose a de facto number one cornerback, although they did manage to get by without him for nearly half the season last year. J.C. Jackson has proven to be a solid cornerback in his own right, and Jonathan Jones is one of the best slot corners in the game, but after that there isn’t much. Jason McCourty is gone, and Jalen Mills has struggled at times throughout camp while also seeing time at safety.

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The secondary for New England is strong, but it may need Gilmore in order to be successful this season. Gilmore certainly regressed a bit from his 2019 Defensive Player of the Year campaign, but he still is easily one of the top five cornerbacks in the game. Unless New England intends on paying him like one, they should look to move him and potentially address another need on their roster in the process.