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Panthers acquire CB Stephon Gilmore from Patriots in trade

Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, will join the Panthers, who sent a sixth-round pick to New England for the Rock Hill native.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers made another move to shore up their secondary Wednesday, trading for veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore. 

Gilmore, a Rock Hill, South Carolina, native, was acquired from the New England Patriots in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Gilmore was an All-Pro in 2018 and 2019 while with the Patriots. 

"It's one of those things it was too good to pass up," head coach Matt Rhule said.  

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Gilmore was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start the season due to a leg injury he suffered late last season. According to Panthers.com, Gilmore was eligible to return after Week 6 but he was expected to be released over a contract dispute with New England. NFL insider Dov Kleiman reported that Gilmore was looking for a deal that would pay him up to $15 million a year. It's unclear if the Panthers will sign the 31-year-old to a long-term deal. 

GM Scott Fitterer said when he was introduced in January that he would be "in on every deal," so clearly he's kept that promise by trading for a player of Gilmore's caliber.

"He'll be in Thursday for a physical," Fitterer said. "We're hoping to get him up to speed. We'll see where he's at for the Giants week."

Gilmore was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2012. He helped lead the South Pointe Stallions to a state championship in 2008 before he went to the University of South Carolina. 

The Panthers are optimistic Gilmore can jump in and contribute immediately while their other newly acquired cornerback, C.J. Henderson, adapts to their defensive system. 

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