There are a wide variety of skilled players who have been connected with the Cleveland Browns this off-season through free agency or trade, and according to Brad Spielberger from Pro Football Focusyou can add New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore to that list.
Spielberger wrote about 10 realistic trades that could happen in the NFL this off-season, and one of those trades was trading the Browns with a pick for the third round in 2021 (# 89 overall) and a pick for the sixth round in 2022 for the talented cornerback.
Cleveland would be responsible for just over $ 7 million if they land Gilmore this season, which will be the final year of his five-year deal, which he signed in 2017. The Browns have an estimated $ 27 to 29 million in cap space off-season according to spotrac.com.
Andrew Berry, Cleveland’s general manager, needs to find out if he can sign Gilmore for an extension if that deal is abandoned. The reason for the extension would be the fact that the Browns are unwilling to abandon this draft capital for a one-year lease. Berry said he wanted to be “deep” on cornerback and that would be one of the ways he could go.
There are a few issues that could come into play if this trading scenario fails for the Browns. First, Gilmore is 31 years old and has had a season where he missed five games due to injury. Second, the Browns already have Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams on the corner, but all three are playing the outside corner position.
Ward will likely get his fifth year option Extension talks can then be held until May 3rd. Williams is a mystery to the Browns as he missed the entire 2020 season with a nerve problem in his shoulder. If Gilmore is traded in, someone would have to move to the position of the inner slot. Gilmore was as good as anyone else in the league, ranking sixth overall with at least 200 snapshots since 2018. The opposing quarterbacks completed 54.5 percent of their passes when targeting Gilmore, finishing third in that division.
Two years ago, Gilmore was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the league in interceptions. Going back to the extension talks, New England likely won’t want to pay him as there are a number of issues to deal with, including quarterback. This will likely be the last expansion Gilmore receives, and when it does and the Browns are ready to make that trade and expansion it makes sense as they are in the best position to have a Super Bowl run in In 2021.
The 2021 off-season should be exciting for the Browns, regardless of who joins the team or not. Gilmore will be a great addition to this team if he can return to that 2019 form and the Browns are willing to go that route.