As New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore looks for a new deal, he's reportedly taking inspiration from a Philadelphia Eagles player.
Gilmore isn't participating in mandatory minicamp this week "to express his displeasure with his contract," per Jeff Howe of The Athletic. He's set to earn up to $7.5 million this season, but Howe said he's looking for a new deal that's comparable to what Darius Slay signed in 2020.
Slay inked a three-year, $50 million extension with the Eagles, then had 59 combined tackles, six pass breakups and an interception through 15 games in 2020.
In comparison, Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, only appeared in 11 games due to injuries but managed 37 combined tackles, three pass breakups and an interception to earn his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection.
The star's relatively low base salary, which is tied with Pittsburgh Steelers' cornerback Joe Haden for seventh at the position, is partly due to the Patriots' decision to advance money through the earlier years of his deal. Per Howe, he has averaged $14.375 million through his first three years with the team.
For comparison, a pair of Miami Dolphins cornerbacks lead the position in terms of base salary. Byron Jones leads with $14 million, while Xavien Howard—who is also frustrated with his contract situation—will earn $12.1 million for 2021.
Gilmore, who didn't participate in any voluntary activities either, will be fined more than $93,000 if he follows through and skips all three days of minicamp.
New England has options, with $16 million in cap space, per Howe. If they can do something to satisfy Gilmore for now, they can table these talks and see what he can do during a healthy season.
One option could be trading him, which is something that was floated at the trade deadline. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported at the time that "most GMs have considered it a foregone conclusion" that he wouldn't finish the year in New England, but Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said teams didn't have as much interest in the South Carolina product due to his injury status.