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How the Cardinals Can Acquire Stephon Gilmore

Syndication: The Providence Journal Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

If the Arizona Cardinals feel a sense of urgency to acquire Pro Bowl CB Stephon Gilmore, they already know the way to do it —- as they did when the Raiders announced their intention to release Pro Bowl C Rodney Hudson, the Cardinals have until 4 PM today to make the Patriots a trade offer.

The biggest question mark is just how far along Stephon Gilmore is in his rehab of the partially torn quadriceps he suffered and had surgery to repair back in Week 12 last season. Because Gilmore has been on the PUP list thus far this season, any team that acquires him will have two more weeks to gauge his progress, as he is not eligible to come off the PUP list until Week 7.

The Cardinals could elect to let Gilmore hit free agency and then get into a bidding war with other interested teams —- but, just as Rodney Hudson had designs on re-signing with Kansas City, one might imagine that Tom Brady would be one of the first of Gilmore’s former teammates to try to recruit him for the Bucs. The Bucs have struggled some at CB this season —- performance and health wise.

If a team is able to trade for Gilmore, his remaining salary for 2021 is a potential bargain at approximately $7M.

The Cardinals would be able to see how well Gilmore fits into their system, provided he proves he is fully healed and ready to get back to playing at an elite level. They would have a franchise tag option for 2022, but, in all likelihood, if Gilmore is an instant fit, the Cardinals should be eager to sign Gilmore to a lucrative long-term deal.

Much could depend on what the Patriots would want in return for Gilmore. At this point, getting a decent offer would be better for them than getting nothing.

If J.J. Watt, Budda Baker and Chandler Jones know Gilmore —- perhaps they could make a strong pitch that would encourage him to want to join them in Arizona.

What is your opinion? What would you offer the Patriots?

I am a little ambivalent because I very much like the young talent the Cardinals have at CB in Byron Murphy, Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan. I have also been impressed with Robert Alford and Antonio Hamilton and am eager to see how Luq Barcoo and Jace Whittaker develop.

A quadriceps injury for a CB is hard to come back from, especially the way CBs need to be able to backpedal, flip their hips and constantly change directions at top speed. Stephon Gilmore was having a sub par season before the injury, but, hey, back in 2019 he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

For $7M this season, the risk might be very well worth the trade compensation.

Do you agree?