Ep.27 | Is it time for the Patriots to trade Stephon Gilmore and pay JC Jackson?
The New England Patriots are heading into what is probably going to be a pretty crazy offseason. Outside of trying to repair a very broken offense, Bill Belichick has a lot of internal options to consider. The Patriots have a plethora of players set to hit free agency; Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Rex Burkhead, James White, and Cam Newton, top the list of unrestricted free agents, and Belichick is going to have to figure out who is coming back, and which player will join a different team in 2021. Cam Newton is the player getting all of the attention, mainly because the Patriots are desperate to find a quarterback to replace Tom Brady, and even though things don’t work out at all last season, some people still believe Cam is still the guy. However, the Patriots have another player who is heading into restricted free agency and he’s probably going to cost the Patriots a pretty penny, and some people may say he’s New England’s most important free agent, but signing him may force Belichick to make a corresponding move, and the move would be big. Jerry Trotta of FanSided wrote: “It’s time for the Patriots to move on from cornerback Stephon Gilmore. By most statistical measures, Gilmore had a down year this past season, as he produced a pedestrian 58.7 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. However, the fact that he allowed the fewest yards per game than his previous three campaigns (two of which he was named an All-Pro) proves he still has a ton of trade value. And we say that despite the injuries he picked up in 2020. While there are concerns about whether (J.C.) Jackson is ready to assume No. 1 CB duties — folks will point to him getting torched by Stefon Diggs in Week 15 as their main argument — the Patriots will have to learn if he’s capable sooner or later. Wouldn’t it just make sense to obtain some draft picks, which will be extremely helpful this year given the current state of the roster, before you entrust him with that role?” The question then becomes, can’t the Patriots just keep both? Can’t the Patriots head into the 2021 NFL season with the best CB tandem in football? Is the Draft capital that important? I guess we’ll all find out sooner or later, but I think it’s safe to say, regardless of what happens with Gilmore, Belichick is going to have to pony up, and pay JC Jackson.