Stephon Gilmore’s signing is evidence the Patriots are never satisfied
If there is one thing we know about the Patriots, it’s that they do not rest on their laurels. A player helped them win the Super Bowl? Great. Is there an upgrade available on that player?
Per multiple reports, the reigning champs will sign ex-Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore—thought to be the top CB available—to a massive deal Thursday. Gilmore’s arrival effectively will end the Patriots career of Logan Ryan, whose versatility and move to the slot last season helped New England’s defense really take off.
The Patriots tried to turn Ryan into their No. 2 corner opposite Malcolm Butler. He was overwhelmed in that position and was moved to a slot-heavy role. Gilmore, though, is a true outside cornerback, a lock-down defender when he is at his best.
Granted, he wasn’t always at his best for Buffalo last year. He finished with a career-high five interceptions and his first Pro Bowl berth, but he—like the Buffalo defense as a whole—battled inconsistency. Patriots fans might best remember those ups and downs from their team’s Halloween weekend victory over the Bills, a 41–25 triumph in which Chris Hogan torched Gilmore. Pro Football Focus, in its grading system, barely had Gilmore cracking the top 20 among potential free-agent cornerbacks.