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Patriots reportedly explored trading star cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason

Stephon Gilmore was on the trading block, according to reports.
Stephon Gilmore was on the trading block, according to reports.Steven Senne/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots explored trading cornerback Stephen Gilmore this offseason, NBC Sports Boston’s Albert Breer reported Sunday afternoon prior to the team’s season opener.

According to Breer, the Patriots floated Gilmore’s name in trade talks both before the NFL Draft and during training camp. Gilmore won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award last season.

“My sense is the Patriots' cap situation changing via opt-outs changed the equation there,” Breer tweeted.

The Patriots had eight players opt out of the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The organization now has the second-most cap space in the league, after having less than $1 million to work with earlier in the offseason.

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On Friday, ESPN reported Gilmore received a $5 million raise and can still earn up to $2 million more in incentives. This year will mark Gilmore’s third in New England. He has two years remaining on his contract.

“It wasn’t as smooth a process as you might have thought,” Breer said.


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.