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Patriots trade CB Stephon Gilmore to Panthers

Patriots trade CB Stephon Gilmore to Panthers
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) said "goodbye" to Patriots fans Wednesday on social media. File Photo by Will Newton/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, the Panthers announced.

The Panthers said they sent a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Patriots in exchange for the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

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Gilmore and the Patriots announced earlier Wednesday they decided to part ways because they could not agree to terms on a restructured contract. Gilmore's base salary is $7 million in 2021.

"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base," Gilmore wrote on Instagram and Twitter. "We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements."

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Gilmore underwent quad surgery in December. He skipped mandatory minicamp in June because of a contract dispute with the Patriots.

He did not appear in any of the Patriots' first four games this season. He is eligible to return from the physically unable to perform list in Week 7.

"To [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft, the coaches and the organization: thank you for providing me with this platform and allowing me to be part of greatness," Gilmore wrote.

"Most of all, I want to thank my teammates who lined up next to me every Sunday with one goal in mind. Those moments on and off the field will never be forgotten."

The Patriots' roster has J.C. Jackson, Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams and Shaun Wade at cornerback.

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Gilmore, 31, totaled 37 tackles, three passes defensed, an interception, a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss in 11 starts last season.

"I am grateful to Stephon Gilmore for his significant contributions to our team," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "It was a privilege and pleasure to coach Steph. I appreciate him for the true professional and class act that he is and wish him all the best in the future."

The four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro led the NFL with 20 passes defensed and six interceptions in his 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year campaign. Gilmore won a Super Bowl with the Patriots the previous season.

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