It appears Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore is set to hit the open market in hopes of landing a hefty contract.
Gilmore is reportedly seeking a contract worth between $10 million and $14 million annually, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe.
Gilmore just completed a five-year, $65 million contract he signed with the New England Patriots in 2017. The 31-year-old played for the Patriots through the 2020 season before being traded to the Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick.
Through his four-year career in New England, Gilmore was a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro selection. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. In 56 regular-season games with the Patriots, he recorded 11 interceptions, 52 passes defended, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and 185 tackles.
In his first and only season with the Panthers, he recorded two interceptions, two passes defended, and 16 tackles. He also earned a Pro Bowl selection during the 2021 season.
While Gilmore appears to be headed to free agency, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told reporters Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis there are ongoing discussions in regards to Gilmore.
"We're going through that process as well. We have to see how that fits in. We have Donte [Jackson] that is up as well. We made a move for C.J. Henderson last year to put us in a position so we're not panicking or not forcing something that's there. We'll stay in contact with him. There's ongoing talks."
The problem for the Panthers is that they already have a loaded cornerback group with A.J. Bouye, Rashaan Melvin, and C.J. Henderson. They also have to re-sign Donte Jackson, who is coming off a four-year, $4.8 million deal.
If the Panthers don't sign Gilmore, he'll likely have many suitors in free agency. The Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings are among teams that could use some help in the secondary.