However, Howe adds there wasn’t as much buzz around him as there was last year. The Patriots have never been close to pulling the trigger on a Gilmore trade, per Howe.
He explains other teams have been reluctant to trade a high draft pick for Gilmore and then presumably give him a major contract extension when he’s on the other side of 30.
As for the Patriots, they don’t want to just give Gilmore away, as when he’s healthy he still is an elite defensive player. Howe thinks the relative lack of trade interest could also play a role in Gilmore’s lack of a new contract so far.
Health is also a concern, as Gilmore is on the PUP list recovering from a quad injury that ended his 2020 season. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 7, right before the NFL’s trade deadline after Week 8.
Gilmore, 30, 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.
Gilmore would later depart for a five-year, $65 million contract that includes $31 million guaranteed with the Patriots. He stands to make a base salary of $7 million in 2021.
In 2020, Gilmore appeared in 11 games for the Patriots and recorded 37 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and three passes defended.