Pats' Gilmore explains contract dispute: 'I just want what I'm worth'

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Stephon Gilmore opted not to attend the New England Patriots' mandatory minicamp last month, and the star cornerback explained Friday what's behind his dissatisfaction with his current contract.

"I just want what I'm worth, however that plays out," Gilmore told NFL reporter Josina Anderson. "Every player should be paid what they're worth. That's just how it is."

He added, "Hopefully, we can find some common ground and get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now, I'm just trying to focus on myself and make sure I'm good mentally and physically."

Gilmore has one year left on the five-year, $65-million contract he inked with the Patriots in 2017. His average annual salary of $13 million currently ranks 12th among cornerbacks, according to Spotrac.

The former first-round pick became one of the NFL's premier defenders after his arrival in New England, winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2019. The two-time All-Pro, who's now earned three straight Pro Bowl berths, also helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII.

However, Gilmore is coming off arguably his worst campaign with the Patriots after racking up 37 tackles, one interception, and three pass breakups through 11 appearances in 2020. The 30-year-old battled a knee ailment during the regular season and underwent quad surgery in the offseason.

"I feel stronger than I've ever felt since the surgery," he said of his recovery. "I've been running a lot, building full speed." Gilmore added he's still unsure if he'll be fully ready for training camp, adding he doesn't want to "push it."

The Patriots are set to report for training camp in the last week of July.

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Pats' Gilmore explains contract dispute: 'I just want what I'm worth'
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