Way back in March we brought up that there was a possibility of a Steelers trade for Stephon Gilmore. Steelers Trade: Could Stephon Gilmore be heading to the Pittsburgh? With everything that has happened since then, this trade looks more likely than ever to actually happen.
It’s no secret the New England Patriots have had Stephon Gilmore on the trading block as far back as last season’s trade deadline. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/stephon-gilmore-trade-rumors-projected-compensation-most-logical-landing-spots-for-pro-bowl-cornerback/ They are trying to acquire some assets for their All-Pro corner before his contract runs out after this season. New England can afford to move on from Gilmore because they are loaded at the corner position. The emergence of JC Jackson in particular has made Gilmore expendable.
On the Steelers side of this, there’s no questioning the need for a veteran corner on this roster. After losing both Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson this off-season, there is a sizable void at the corner position. Pittsburgh is now in a position to acquire another significant contract with the extra cap space they have recently obtained. When the Steelers released David DeCastro, they earned nearly nine million in cap relief. Subtract the three million from the signing Trai Turner, and there is still close to six million to spend. Stephon Gilmore would only cost the Steelers seven million in 2021 if a trade were to happen. That is a very doable number for the Steelers to work with.
This brings us to the only impediment to a deal between these two teams, compensation. Word has it the Patriots are looking for a first round pick in exchange for Gilmore. That is a bit excessive considering his age (31 in September), and the length of the remaining contract. A good comp may be the trade that brought Darius Slay to the Eagles from Detroit. The Lions received a third and fifth round pick from the Eagles in that deal. Something in that neighborhood would surely interest Kevin Colbert.
The Steelers have made it very clear they are all-in for this season. One last push to win a Super Bowl before Ben Roethlisberger rides off into the sunset. Trading for a player like Stephon Gilmore would fit right into the strategy this team has employed for 2021. Don’t be surprised if this player is part of the 53 man roster before August rolls around. In fact, we would bet the house on it.