Stephon Gilmore won’t hit the open market, after all.
Just hours after both Gilmore and the New England Patriots acknowledged the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and team were parting ways, the Carolina Panthers announced that they have traded a 2023 sixth-round draft pick for the cornerback.
Gilmore, 31, has been on the physically unable to perform list after recovering from a torn quad sustained last season that required surgery. Gilmore had been seeking a restructured contract
Gilmore is originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina, where the Panthers are building their future team headquarters. He was also selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2018 and 2019 and helped the Patriots secure a title in Super Bowl 53, in which New England topped the Rams, 13-3.
Carolina lost starting cornerback Jaycee Horn, the team’s first-round draft pick from the 2021 NFL draft, to a broken bones in his foot in a Week 3 victory against the Houston Texans. The team traded for former Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick CJ Henderson to fill the void at cornerback.
The Panthers are 3-1 and have been one of the surprises of the NFL season with a defense that ranks third in yards (251.5) and points (16.5) allowed per game.
Gilmore is entering his 10th season in the NFL after the Buffalo Bills selected him 10th overall in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. He spent five seasons in Buffalo before he signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Patriots in 2017.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stephon Gilmore trade: Carolina Panthers land star CB from Patriots