In a surprising twist, the Carolina Panthers have traded for cornerback Stephon Gilmore before the New England Patriots released him. The Panthers will send a sixth-round pick to the Patriots to acquire the former South Carolina Gamecock defensive back. New England was prepared to release the cornerback for nothing and instead gets some draft compensation for the All-Pro cornerback. The Panthers lost rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn to an injury earlier this year.
The Panthers just traded for Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 6, 2021
The Panthers reached out to Richard Sherman before trading for C.J. Henderson. Now, they’ve traded for Stephon Gilmore. They’ve been aggressive on the cornerback market in recent weeks.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 6, 2021
The Panthers are 3-1, but coming off a brutal loss to the Dallas Cowboys where the secondary got torched. Stephon Gilmore started the season with New England on the physically unable to perform list. That means he will not be able to practice or play with the Panthers until after Week 6. The Panthers cornerback room currently includes Gilmore, Jaycee Horn, CJ Henderson, and AJ Bouye.
One note on #Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore: If he’s traded, he stays on the PUP list and can’t practice until after Week 6. If he’s released, he’s off the PUP list and can practice. That may figure into the decision for a team to trade for him or not.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2021
Stephon Gilmore is a free agent after this season, but the Panthers likely have hope that they can convince him to stay beyond this season. If not he at the very least be a great fill-in while Horn is out with his injury. The Carolina Panthers have playoff expectations this year and Gilmore should help with that.