Breaking: Panthers Agree Deal To Sign Two-Time $20 Million All-Pro CB

Breaking: Panthers Agree Deal To Sign Two-Time $20 Million All-Pro CB

The Panthers are still keeping an eye on soon-to-be 31-year-old pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney even as they try to rebuild following a 2–15 campaign. So does another well-known 30-something NFL player.

Panthers wide receiver Stephon Gilmore, who attended the same high school in South Carolina as Clowney, is back in action. Joe Person of The Athletic tweets that Gilmore was contacted by Carolina’s new administration on a possible comeback.

Matt Rhule and General Manager Scott Fitterer approved a 2021 deal that sent Gilmore to the Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2023. But Gilmore only ended up playing for Carolina for a half-season. The native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, was not re-signed by the Panthers in 2022; instead, the former Defensive Player of the Year joined the Colts. Gilmore, a 33-year-old cornerback who indicated interest in staying with the Cowboys after being traded by Indianapolis to Dallas last season, is still unsigned.

Joining DaRon Bland and the recuperating Trevor Diggs in patrolling the slot is Dallas’ return of Jordan Lewis. Gilmore seems to have at least one other choice, so perhaps there won’t be room for him. Although cornerbacks under the age of 34 don’t usually draw a lot of attention, Gilmore has been among the NFL’s top boundary corners in recent years.

In a defensively brilliant championship performance against the Rams, Gilmore intercepted a ball to help lead the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl victory. The following year, Gilmore was named DPOY, and in 2020, he was selected to the Pro Bowl once more. Despite only playing in eight games that season due to a quad injury and a contract standoff with the Patriots, he also received an alternate Pro Bowl selection while with the Panthers. As the closest defender, Gilmore allowed a 55.8% completion rate last season, which was his best performance since the brilliant 2019 season. He also intercepted two passes.

In exchange for Diontae Johnson coming to Charlotte, the Panthers transferred one of their starting CBs, Donte Jackson, to the Steelers. Jaycee Horn has similarly struggled with injuries; when Gilmore first signed with the Panthers, Horn was recovering from a fractured foot. If Gilmore returns, the Panthers will have two 33-year-old corners on their roster; Troy Hill, who was just re-signed, will be 33 shortly before the season begins. This would be an intriguing path for a team in rebuilding mode, but before Ejiro Evero leads Carolina’s defense in his second season, another cornerback with starter caliber would probably be required.


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