Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News reports that the Bills will not franchise free agent CB Stephon Gilmore before tomorrow’s deadline.
A league source tells Skurski that there’s “no chance” of them using the designation on Gilmore, even though he should be among the best available free agents.
Franchising Gilmore would run the Bills around $15 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season, but wouldn’t prevent them from negotiating a long-term contract before the July deadline.
Sal Capaccio of WGR 550 previously reported that Gilmore is looking to be paid a top-five salary for the cornerback position, which would net him around $14 million or so per season.
According to Capaccio, the Bills actually extended Gilmore an offer of roughly $10.5 million annually last August, but talks didn’t extend beyond them making this offer.
Gilmore, 26, was taken with the No. 10 overall pick by the Bills back in 2012. He played out his rookie contract, but the Bills elected to pick up his fifth-year option for the 2016 season which paid him a guaranteed salary of $11 million.
In 2016, Gilmore appeared in 15 games and recorded 48 tackles, five interceptions, and 12 pass defenses for the Bills. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 61 cornerback out of 112 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2017 Free Agents list.