In a surprise move on Wednesday, the New England Patriots released star defensive back Stephon Gilmore. While the Los Angeles Rams don’t have a lot of cap space, you can never count out them out in these types of moves. That’s especially the case when Jalen Ramsey openly recruited for Gilmore earlier this offseason.
With that said, is it even possible for the Rams to sign Gilmore?
Why Was Stephon Gilmore Released?
It’s very easy to ask the question, why would the Patriots release Gilmore, a former defensive player of the year. To put it in simple terms, it’s the typical Bill Belichick philosophy of not paying players past their best years. At 31-years old, it’s likely that Belichick didn’t want to give Gilmore a three year deal.
Gilmore has spent the first four weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list and will be eligible to come off after Week 6. However, Gilmore and the Patriots had been in a bit of a contact dispute. Gilmore had skipped the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp in June because of the contract.
Can The Los Angeles Rams Sign Gilmore?
While the Los Angeles Rams don’t have a lot of cap space, signing Gilmore is not impossible. The New England Patriots are still responsible for the majority of his salary.
If we assume that Gilmore wants $15M, that would prorate out to $10M for the balance of this season. If that is indeed the number you probably would need $2.64M in cap room to make that work (possibly a little less but that is the clean way to come up with a number)
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) October 6, 2021
According to over the cap, the Rams would likely need just $2.64M. As it currently stands, they have $1.85M. Therefore, in order to make it work for this year, the Rams would need to open up a little less than $1M in cap space. The most logical way for this to happen is for the Rams to restructure Matthew Stafford’s deal. A Stafford restructure would open up around $13M in cap space.
If the Rams want to make this deal happen, they certainly can. The salary cap won’t hold them back.
Does it Make Sense to Sign Stephon Gilmore
The best pitch that the Los Angeles Rams have for Stephon Gilmore is, “Come sign with us an win a Super Bowl while playing alongside Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald.” That’s the best pitch that the Rams can come up with.
Where things get complicated is the reason the Patriots likely cut Gilmore. This is a 31-year old cornerback coming off of an injury who wants a new contract, likely top-10 money.
It would be nice to have a Marcus Peters-Aqib Talib-esque pairing. However, the Rams are going to struggle bringing back Darious Williams, let alone sign Gilmore to a three-year deal. This is why a team like the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or even Seattle Seahawks makes the most sense.
If the Rams can sell Gilmore on signing a one-year deal to potentially increase his value with Ramsey, this is a deal that might work. However, it seems like Gilmore and the Rams’ priorities might not totally lineup.