Stephon Gilmore Rumors: Rams Have Been in Contact with Free-Agent CB

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 13, 2022

Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore (9) warms up before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

The Los Angeles Rams have "been in contact" with free-agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:

"The Rams have been in contact with Gilmore this offseason, a source said. If signed, Gilmore would occupy the outside cornerback role opposite Jalen Ramsey. If and when Ramsey moves into the 'Star' position, either Robert Rochell or David Long Jr. can play the other outside spot (I also expect the Rams to draft a cornerback)."

The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro has played 10 NFL seasons for the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. His best season occurred with the Pats in 2019, when he amassed NFL highs in both interceptions (six) and passes defended (20) en route to Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Gilmore spent last season with the Panthers after New England traded him before the season. He played just eight games during an injury-shortened campaign that saw him start the year on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) after suffering a partially torn quad the year before.

Despite playing less than half the season, Gilmore found himself in yet another Pro Bowl. He had 16 tackles and a pair of interceptions on the year.

Pro Football Focus ranks Gilmore as the 16th-best free agent and second-best cornerback in this year's class:

"Gilmore made the Patriots' defense tick from 2017 to 2019 as he played lockdown man coverage better than any corner in the league. He's at his best playing press man where he can cover the league's best receivers, but he comes back down to Earth when asked to play more zone concepts."

Adding Gilmore would be a luxury for the Super Bowl champion Rams, who already looked primed for a repeat run with many of their players from last year's team returning. Jalen Ramsey and Gilmore could easily form the NFL's top cornerback duo as defensive lineman Aaron Donald wrecks havoc up front as usual.

For now, Gilmore remains one of the best free agents available.