The New England Patriots traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday morning.
Earlier in the day, New England leaked that it was preparing to release Gilmore for nothing. This prompted reports of how the 31-year-old would go join the Green Bay Packers, who he apparently wants to play for.
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As it turns out, though – it was all a ploy. Bill Belichick and Co. were simply trying to get a trade suitor for Gilmore to step up, and that’s precisely what Carolina did.
It was Belichick’s most recent cut-throat chess move, but not the first one he has pulled in recent weeks.
The Panthers ultimately agreed to part with a 2023 sixth-rounder in return for Gilmore, who has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since this past summer with a quad injury.
Gilmore will be permitted to come off the list after Week 6, potentially making his Panthers debut in Week 7 against the New York Giants.
Between the Gilmore acquisition and the C.J. Henderson trade from late September, clearly Carolina is trying to load up at the position.
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The Panthers are currently 3-1 on the year, but would’ve been undefeated if they hadn’t been cheated out of victory against the Dallas Cowboys.
Who will ultimately walk away as the winner of this trade? Time will tell.