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Former All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore in no rush signing with a new team: ‘It has to be the right opportunity’

Like a batter waiting for the perfect pitch to hit, Stephon Gilmore is taking his time when it comes to free agency. The veteran cornerback and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year said while he plans to continue playing, he’s not in any rush when it comes to picking his next team. 

Gilmore, 33, recently spent the past one-plus seasons with the Cowboys after he was traded from Indianapolis during the 2022 season. He was not re-signed by Dallas this offseason despite picking off two passes, breaking up 13 more and starting in each of the Cowboys’ 17 regular-season games. 

“I’m still focused on playing, but it has to be the right opportunity,” Gilmore recently told veteran NFL insider Josina Anderson. “I feel like it’s the age thing with some of these teams. If I was 28, I would already have been signed by now; at the same time, I know the value I still bring,” Gilmore said. “If you watch the tape, I feel like I played well the last two years, and literally almost played every snap last year. 

“So I’m staying patient, while watching my son, who’s a wide receiver and cornerback, lock people up on the field with his defensive back skills, too.” 

He didn’t say it, but it appears that Gilmore is waiting for a more lucrative offer to come his way. It’s clear he still feels he is an elite player despite being on the “wrong” side of 30 and coming off a significant shoulder injury he suffered during the Cowboys’ final regular-season game. It doesn’t help that Gilmore plays a position that demands peak physical excellence given the talent and ability of today’s receivers who are playing in an era that favors the offense. 

There have been rumblings of a possible reunion between Gilmore and the Panthers, the team he spent the 2021 season with and was a Pro Bowler for the fifth and most recent time. But there hasn’t been much movement on that front, according to The Athletic, despite Panthers general manager Dan Morgan saying after the draft that the team had been in contact with Gilmore. 

The main question is whether Gilmore will ultimately settle for a less than desirable deal in order to play, or continue to wait for the offer/situation that he is hoping for. That question will ultimately be answered between now and the start of training camp. 

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Author: Bryan DeArdo
May 9, 2024 | 5:05 pm

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