49ers Trade Target No. 3: CB Stephon Gilmore, Patriots
This one is a bit more challenging, which is why it’s not ranked any higher than No. 3 on this list.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is only two years removed from being the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. But amid hopes for a new contract, Gilmore still finds himself shelved on the physically unable-to-perform list after two weeks and hasn’t seen the field since Week 15 of last season.
At 31 years old and still dealing with an injury, it’s pretty clear Gilmore won’t be in New England’s future plans, and it’s also reported the Patriots would be interested in shopping Gilmore on the trade market before this year’s trade deadline anyway.
On the positive side for the Niners, each passing week Gilmore misses likely means New England’s asking price drops, potentially into the crop of day-three selections. Head coach Bill Belichick might look to simply get something instead of letting Gilmore walk in free agency and potentially not sign a new deal in 2022 that would net a qualifying compensatory pick.
On the negative, though, San Francisco would be on the hook for a per-game roster bonus of $500,000 after a trade, per Over the Cap. Considering the 49ers have just over $4.8 million available in cap space, making a move for Gilmore might end up costing a bit too much without engineering some other moves to help squeeze his contract until the cap.
It probably won’t happen. But if it did, the Niners could certainly do with a strong veteran presence within the secondary.