Cornerback Stephon Gilmore may not have ended up with the Green Bay Packers, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort from Davante Adams, who had made a recruiting pitch Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Gilmore sent a goodbye message to the New England Patriots on his Instagram page, providing an opening for Adams to show his interest. Though ESPN's Adam Schefter had initially reported the defensive back was going to be released, the Patriots wound up trading Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Hours after the trade went through, Adams revealed Gilmore never gave him a call:
According to Greg A. Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, the Packers were considered a favorite to land the corner prior to the Panthers deal.
Gilmore spent the past four years with New England, earning three Pro Bowl selections.
It would have been a significant addition for Green Bay if the cornerback proves to be healthy. Gilmore has spent the start of the year on the physically unable to perform list due to the quad injury that ended his 2020 season, but he is eligible to play after Week 6.
When on the field, the veteran is one of the best in the league at his position. Gilmore was named first-team All-Pro in both 2018 and 2019, winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2019 when he led the NFL with six interceptions. He added a league-high 20 passes defended with two defensive touchdowns that season.
Even after an injury-filled 2020, a vote of 50 league personnel rated Gilmore as the No. 4 cornerback in the NFL heading into 2021, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
He could've helped a Packers squad that has Super Bowl aspirations but question marks defensively. The unit is tied for 19th in the league in points allowed, while only three teams have allowed more passing touchdowns this season.
Pairing Gilmore with Jaire Alexander or 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes would've given Green Bay an elite secondary that puts the team one step closer to a championship. But unfortunately for Adams and Co., Gilmore will be heading to North Carolina rather than Wisconsin.