In an Instagram post, the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback announced his resignation. He said that the memories he shared with his teammates over the past four seasons -- which included winning the Super Bowl in 2018 -- "will not be forgotten."
Gilmore wrote, "It is with mixed feelings that I announce my departure to this great fanbase." "We shared so much success and you have been an amazing inspiration for my individual accomplishments."
Gilmore started the season on the physically incapacitated list after he recovered from a quadriceps injury that he sustained late last season and required offseason surgery. After Week 6, he would have been eligible for practice again.
Since this summer, Gilmore and the Patriots had been working to restructure their deal. As he sought additional compensation for the last season of his $65 million, five-year deal, the 31-year old opted out of both the mandatory and voluntary portions of New England’s offseason program in May/ June.
He was to earn a base salary of $7 million this season. He was also eligible for a $500,000 roster bonus. However, his 2021 compensation would have placed him 25th among NFL cornerbacks.
Gilmore didn't like that. He has been a standout in New England’s secondary ever since he arrived as a free agent in 2017 from Buffalo. In his four seasons with Patriots, he has recorded 11 interceptions.
Last season, Gilmore had only one interception. This was a record low for Gilmore. After missing 11 games due to the quad injury and a COVID-19 diagnosis, Gilmore was only able to appear in 11 of those games.
This summer, he told ESPN that he wanted fair value and that he felt good after surgery.
Gilmore stated that he just wants what he's worth, regardless of how it plays out. "Every player should get paid what they are worth. This is how it should be.
The Patriots made some changes to their secondary in the offseason, despite losing safety Patrick Chung to retirement. J.C. Jackson, the defensive back, a leader in interceptions with nine last season, was re-signed and Jalen Mills, a veteran, was added to the team. Jackson already has two interceptions for this season.
A prolonged absence from Gilmore would have hindered his ability to build relationships with the unit, which also added several new members in free agency on the defensive line, including edge rusher Matt Judon and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux.
The Patriots are now focusing their attention on strengthening a defense that ranks fourth among the NFL and allows 185 passing yards per match.