Would the Lions be interested in trading for Stephon Gilmore?

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore - Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore - Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Would the Detroit Lions be interested in a trade for this Patriots cornerback?

Anytime there’s a possibility that a big name member of the New England Patriots is on the trading block, the Detroit Lions have to be mentioned, right? After all, Motown has become home to several ex-Patriots since head coach Matt Patricia arrived back in 2018.

Patricia took over as the defensive coordinator for the Patriots back in 2012, leading the unit to six-straight conference championship games and three Super Bowl appearances. That same year, the Buffalo Bills used the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 draft on South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

During Patricia’s final season in New England, the Pats inked Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal as a free agent. The corner would start 13 games that season, and both he and Matty P would help led New England to the Super Bowl in 2017, ultimately losing to the Nick Foles-led Philadelphia Eagles.

And while their union was brief, it was successful. Gilmore would go on to win a championship with the Patriots the following year and also be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also been a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler for each of the past two seasons.

So is Patricia and his Lions hoping for a possible reunion with Gilmore? Here’s a tidbit shared by the MMQB’s Albert Breer on Monday about the possible trade availability of the veteran cornerback.

"“At two different junctures this year—before the draft and toward the start of camp—the Patriots had discussions with other teams about a potential Stephon Gilmore trade. Would New England revisit that now? It seems increasingly likely that he could be elsewhere in 2021, so exploring the idea again, with the team at 2–4, wouldn’t be unheard of.”"

Gilmore’s current overall score of 61.0 by Pro Football Focus is his lowest since 2013. The 30-year old has recorded 20 tackles, two pass deflections, and one interception through six games with the 2-4 Patriots this year.

According to sportrac.com, Gilmore had a base salary of $13 million this season, but a monster salary cap hit north of $25 million. Next season, the last year of his current deal in New England, the veteran defender is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million with a cap hit of $17.1 million.

The Lions certainly love to acquire former members of the Patriots. So, adding a player like Gilmore would seem to be a consideration. But the Lions have already heavily invested in their cornerback position signing Justin Coleman as a free agent last year and drafting Jeff Okudah with the third overall selection in the 2020 draft.

The Lions also inked former Pro Bowl corner, Desmond Trufant, to a two-year deal in March. Unfortunately, Trufant has played just two games this season due to a hamstring injury. Trufant’s lack of availability could spur a move for Gilmore.

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Whether the Detroit Lions attempt to trade for Stephon Gilmore may depend not only on his hefty price tag but how the team feels about the future of Amani Oruwariye in the Motor City. The 2019 fifth-rounder out of Penn State has started all six games for Detroit this season and has recorded 17 tackles, five pass deflections, but no interceptions in 2020 so far.