It’s been reported over the past few days that the New England Patriots have been looking to move up in the draft in an effort to draft one of the falling quarterbacks in this draft class. As of yesterday, new reporting came out that they may be shopping cornerback Stephon Gilmore to sweeten the deal.
.@diannaESPN thinks the Patriots could deal Stephon Gilmore in order to move into the top 10 of the NFL draft.— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2021
"I did speak to a team in the top 10 who told me that they've had calls with New England." pic.twitter.com/ZceNEyGtnn
Gilmore would come on a cheap option at $7 million, but he’s in the last year of his contract and is looking for an extension. Dealing for him instead of taking a premium pick in the second round, or something in the future after dropping to 15th, leaves the Cowboys with having to sign him to an extension. Presumably that wouldn’t be cheap.
With the Cowboys already paying big money to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Zack Martin, Jaylon Smith, and DeMarcus Lawrence, it’s hard to see them making a move for the older, but still capable, veteran. Additionally, Stephen Jones in the pre-draft press conference talked about how draft picks were more valuable than expensive free agents because of the salary cap implications.
Instead, the Cowboys should counter the Patriots offer, and in place of Gilmore, they should ask for J.C. Jackson, who last season had 34 tackles and nine, that’s right nine, interceptions.
Jackson is younger and less of a risk for the Cowboys if they wanted to extend him. He likely wouldn’t command as much money as Gilmore would at this point in his career, and the Patriots are obviously dangling him out there with a second-round tender which means he could be available. Ian Rapoport recently discussed the idea of the Patriots trading him.
From NFL Now: #Patriots CB JC Jackson has signed his RFA tender, but that doesn't mean he'll definitely be on the roster for the 2021 season. Plenty of questions still in the secondary... pic.twitter.com/FdlhxFiOf6— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2021
If they could swing that kind of deal, they can get a young cornerback opposite Trevon Diggs with NFL starts under his belt. They could then use the 15th pick from the Patriots to address other needs on the roster. They would probably also pick up an additional future pick in the swap. It remains to be seen if the Cowboys would even want to trade back but this is an intriguing situation, and one the Cowboys just might be interested in pursuing if the price and players make sense.
Gotta love the NFL Draft!