Breer said New England was exploring the possibility before the draft and during training camp. Gilmore had the highest cap hit on the team and space was tight this offseason.
“I’m told that on least two separate occasions, the Patriots floated his name in trade talks, both before the (NFL) Draft and during training camp,” Breer said, via NBC Boston.
“There was a point where they had less than $1 million underneath the salary cap,” Breer added. “Stephon Gilmore was one of the few people they could go to who could make a significant difference there, and I can tell you this: He wasn’t going to renegotiate his contract.”
However, New England’s league-high eight opt-outs changed the equation and freed up a flood of space for Gilmore. The team actually gave him a $5 million raise a couple of days ago.
Gilmore, 29, 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 made a base salary of $9.5 million for the 2019 season.
In 2019, Gilmore appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots and recorded 53 tackles, six interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, a fumble recovery and 20 passes defended.