Pats trade Stephon Gilmore to Panthers
Stephon Gilmore Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The reports of Stephon Gilmore being released by the New England Patriots were premature, but the two sides are, indeed, parting ways.

The Carolina Panthers announced on Wednesday that they acquired Gilmore in a trade with the Patriots. They sent a 2023 sixth-round draft pick to New England in exchange for the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Gilmore said farewell to the Patriots in a statement on social media Wednesday morning. Bill Belichick also issued a statement thanking him for his contributions to the team.

Gilmore and the Patriots were not able to agree on a restructured contract after the Pro Bowl cornerback began the season on injured reserve. It seems like New England intentionally leaked the news of Gilmore being released to turn up the pressure on teams that were interested in acquiring him.

There was supposedly another NFC team that Gilmore wanted to play for, but he should be happy in Carolina. The 31-year-old is from South Carolina, and the Panthers look like one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. Adding Gilmore will make them even better.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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