Panthers named as possible landing spot for CB Stephon Gilmore

By Anthony Rizzuti

A few hours ago, we had speculated about the potential of the Carolina Panthers adding a newly available, name-brand type of defender. So since this is the NFL, a fun place that’s in a constant state of flux, we have another interesting path to now consider.

In a shocking bit of news reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots plan on parting ways with cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Unless a trade agreement for the disgruntled star is reached by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the team will release the 10th-year veteran.

So, whether by trade or an eventual signing, could general manager Scott Fitterer and the Panthers be in on Gilmore? With a handful of key injuries to their secondary, is there some room for the 2019 AP Defensive Player of Year?

Mark Schofield of Touchdown Wire believes it’s one of a few sensical fits for the 31-year-old Rock Hill, S.C. native.

“One of the storylines of this young 2021 NFL season has been Phil Snow’s defense in Carolina,” Schofield writes. “The Panthers are young and athletic on the defensive side of the football, and Snow has put together some schemes and concepts that are challenging opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks alike. Few can forget the three-straight plays against New Orleans where the Panthers ran the exact same blitz on each. The results? Incompletion, incompletion and interception.”

Snow and Carolina got off to a roaring start in 2021, having led the league in seemingly every major defensive category through the season’s first three weeks. A pair of sacrificial outings in Texas, however, has left the unit a bit beat down and battered going into Week 5.

“Now, the defense is a bit banged up right now,” Schofield continued. “Shaq Thompson and Yetur Gross-Matos are injured up front, and in the secondary first-round pick Jaycee Horn is on IR. The team did acquire C.J. Henderson via trade, adding a former first-round selection. So perhaps the organization does not make a move for Gilmore.

But you cannot help but wonder what this defense could be like if they add someone with his coverage skills and experience. And with almost $20 million in available cap space, the Panthers could make it happen.”

As of this writing, the Panthers currently have the second-most cap space in the league. The resources are definitely there if Gilmore is indeed deemed a fit for Carolina by both himself and the organization.

And we know Fitterer really is “in on every deal.” How about this one?


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