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With Stephon Gilmore leading the way, Patriots locked down at cornerback

This position is covered in New England.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is signed through 2021.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Stephon Gilmore has you covered.

No matter the assignment, no matter the opponent, the Patriots cornerback has it covered.

Tall, speed-burning flanker outside the numbers? Smaller, speedy slot receiver? Big, athletic tight end? Gilmore takes on all comers with blanket coverage, eliminating the need for a safety blanket over the top.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 202-pound Gilmore has perfect blend of size, speed, and strength to spark nightmares in every pass-catcher in the league.

The reigning NFL defensive player of the year has been playing at an elite level since arriving in New England in 2017 and he is signed through 2021. He’ll make a base salary of $10.5 million this season.


Here’s a look at the other players who will be hanging on the New England corners this season.

Jason McCourty

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $2.65 million.

Jason McCourty is back for another season with the Patriots.Chris Cecere/FR171380 AP via AP

Comment: A strong and athletic veteran who plays with calm confidence. McCourty can change directions smoothly and mimics receivers to stay on their hip.

A smart and savvy player, McCourty has good range and could help out at safety in a pinch. One of the best veteran acquisitions of the past few years, he also has a penchant for big plays at big times (see Super Bowl LIII tape for Exhibit A).

Jonathan Jones

Contract status: Signed through 2022.

Base salary for 2020: $3.2 million.

Comment: Super fast and athletic corner who, like McCourty, can chip in at safety (again, see Super Bowl LIII tape) without looking out of place.

Jonathan Jones celebrates after a 2017 sack of Miami's Matt Moore.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Jones has excellent short-area quickness and burst and hits way harder than a 5-10, 190-pounder has a right to. His sideline pop of 6-3, 250-pound Derrick Henry in the wild-card game in January was one of the best hits of the NFL season. In addition, Jones is a special teams terror.


J.C. Jackson

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $750,000.

Comment: The latest in a long line of undrafted players to arrive in Foxborough and excel at corner (a la Malcolm Butler, Jonathan Jones).

J.C. Jackson (27) has eight interceptions in two seasons with the Patriots.Barry Chin

Veteran teammates marveled at his deep ball coverage skills seemingly from the time he stepped on the practice field as a rookie in the spring of 2018. It wasn’t hyperbole: Jackson, who is listed at 6-1, 198 pounds but is probably closer to 5-10, has eight interceptions in two years. Might an extension be in the cards this season?

Joejuan Williams

Contract status: Signed through 2022.

Base salary for 2020: $796,212.

Comment: Didn’t get a lot of run his rookie season in part because of the veteran talent ahead of him on the depth chart — and will be a challenge again this season.

Could a positional shift be in the cards for Joejuan Williams?Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Possesses unique size (6-3, 212 pounds) and length for the position. Not a classic speed-burner, but Williams does have good range, closing burst, and long arms, suggesting he could find a spot in the safety rotation.

Lenzy Pipkins

Contract status: Signed through 2020.

Base salary for 2020: $750,000.

Lenzy Pipkins might have to find a role on special teams if he wants to stick with the Patriots.Mark LoMoglio/FR171457 AP via AP

Comment: A depth player with good size (6 feet, 196 pounds) and length, Pipkins hasn’t seen a lot of action since his rookie season in Green Bay. It’ll be an uphill battle to secure a roster spot, but if he can carve out a special teams role during the summer, Pipkins could stick.

D’Angelo Ross

Contract status: Signed through 2021.


Base salary for 2020: $610,000.

Comment: An undrafted rookie last season, he spent the year on injured reserve after a late-summer ailment. Ross is a bit undersized (5-9, 190 pounds) but has good speed and a nose for the ball. Ross was having a strong camp before the injury and he could develop into a contributor as a slot corner and definitely as a special teamer. If he doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster, he could spend a developmental year on the practice squad.

Jim McBride can be reached at Follow him @globejimmcbride.