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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Articles tagged: Stephon Gilmore

Each NFL team’s worst contract

Ndamukong Suh

NFL contracts are often a hot-button issue. People love to debate who’s making too much, too little, who deserves more and who is overpaid. Some athletes outplay their deals, while others cash in and fail to deliver. Teams obviously try hard to avoid the latter situation, but sometimes things don’t work out as hoped.

With all of that in mind, here’s a look at the worst contract on every NFL team.

Arizona Cardinals – Jermaine Gresham, tight end

The Cardinals put an emphasis on re-signing tight end Jermaine Gresham and as a result, may have drastically over-paid for him. He hasn’t had over 460 yards receiving since 2012, has seen his catch rate hover around 60% in each of the previous two seasons and hasn’t scored more than two touchdowns since 2014. Those are mediocre numbers at best for a player signed to a four-year, $28 million contract with $16.5 million guaranteed.

Atlanta Falcons – Brooks Reed, defensive end

Brooks Reed is not exactly a bad player — he’s a high-motor guy who plays a very defined role. Of course, when the Falcons signed him to a five-year, $22 million deal in 2015 they expected much more. Instead, what they’ve gotten for $9 million guaranteed is 42 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in 28 games.

Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco, quarterback

When the Ravens signed Joe Flacco to a monstrous $120.6 million deal in 2013, many foresaw potential issues looming. However, at the time, Flacco was coming off of a magical postseason run that culminated with a Super Bowl XLVII victory. He had earned his money. But in 2016, facing a massive cap number, Baltimore was forced to extend Flacco with a three-year, $66.4 million deal. Now under contract through 2021, Flacco has cap hits above $24 million beginning next year and throughout the remainder of his deal, large dead cap numbers that render him uncuttable and guarantees that make him untradeable. Arguably, it’s the worst contract in the NFL.

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Julian Edelman, Stephon Gilmore thrown out of practice after fight

Julian Edelman

The New England Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl win, but that doesn’t mean their intensity level in training camp has changed. To wit, two of their players were throwing out of practice Tuesday for fighting.

Julian Edelman and Stephon Gilmore were tossed from practice after fighting near the end zone following an incomplete pass during team drills. Edelman apparently felt that Gilmore, the team’s big offseason signing at CB, was holding, and got upset. The two began wrestling on the ground and their helmets came off.

Bill Belichick doesn’t allow fighting at practice, so the players were told to take a hike.

Some may think it’s a sign of chaos if players fight at practice, but the intensity level this shows could be a good thing for a team that might be worried about a “Super Bowl hangover.”

Report: Stephon Gilmore signing with Patriots

The New England Patriots are expected to make a major splash when free agency officially begins on Thursday, as they have reportedly agreed to a deal with cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news.

The Patriots rarely ever spend big on cornerbacks, so they must consider Gilmore to be a special player. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes that the deal is expected to be worth more than $14 million per year.

It’s unclear how the Gilmore signing will affect Malcolm Butler’s situation in New England. The Super Bowl XLIX hero is a restricted free agent, and the Patriots have tendered him. That means they would get an opportunity to match any offer sheet he might sign with another team, and New England would get a first-round draft pick as compensation if they chose not to match the offer.

Gilmore has been outspoken with his confidence when facing the Patriots in the past. The 2012 first-round pick spent the first five seasons of his career with the Buffalo Bills, recording 14 interceptions in 68 career games.

Stephon Gilmore: Bills have plan to eliminate Rob Gronkowski

Rob-Gronkowski-Patriots

The Buffalo Bills did very little to slow down Rob Gronkowski in their first meeting with the New England Patriots this season. Gronk had one of his best games of the year, catching seven passes for 113 yards and a score in his team’s 40-32 victory.

Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore is confident things will be different Monday night.

“We got a game plan to take him out of the game,” Gilmore told reporters earlier this week, via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “We’re gonna be ready for him.”

Teams will likely focus even more on Gronkowski now that Edelman is out, but they can’t just ignore the man many expect to be Edelman’s replacement. Danny Amendola, who has developed good chemistry with Tom Brady over the past year, is more than capable of making an impact.

Brady torched Buffalo in Week 2, but Gilmore insists the Bills learned a lot from watching last weekend’s Patriots-Giants game.

“They [were] getting to him,” he said of the Giants. “They [were] getting to Tom Brady, getting him off his spot. They [were] sacking him and they are playing tight coverage on the back end. So first all of you have to get to him to make him mess up.”

That is always easier said than done. Brady plays some of his best football at home and in primetime, so this is an incredibly tough spot for Buffalo. The most surprising thing here is that Gilmore didn’t learn from the comments he made before the Week 2 game. You don’t want to give an ape like Gronk any added motivation.

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore: I hope I cover Rob Gronkowski

Rob-Gronkowski-Patriots

Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore hopes to be given an opportunity to take on one of the most daunting tasks in football this weekend — covering Rob Gronkowski.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound defender was asked if he expects to be covering New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman or someone else. Gilmore is thinking much, much bigger.

“I hope I get Gronk, to be honest with you,” he said, via Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News. “We’ll see what the coaching staff says. Because I know the ball’s going to him.”

Tom Brady threw the ball to Edelman 12 times in New England’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, and Edelman secured 11 catches for 97 yards. Gronkowski was targeted eight times and made just five catches, but three of them were touchdowns.

“I can go inside. He’s a bigger guy so it’s not like I’m going inside on a smaller guy,” Gilmore said. “But like I said, it’s whatever the coaches want me to do to help this team win. … I want him.”

You have to admire the confidence, but Gronkowski has five inches and 75 pounds on Gilmore. Unless Gilmore is able to jam Gronk at the line and completely disrupt his timing, it would be almost impossible for him to cover No. 87 one-on-one.

Even Rex Ryan acknowledged that trying to use one defender on Gronkowski would be asking for trouble.

Ryan has already thrown shade at the Patriots leading up to the big game, but he knows Gronk is the type of player who can beat a defense by himself. He’s not going to leave covering the best tight end in the game up to one player.

H/T Around the NFL