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Seahawks Patriots Stephon Gilmore
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Clayton: Why Seahawks should consider trade for CB Stephon Gilmore

Star Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is skipping mandatory minicamp. (Getty)

The New England Patriots opened their mandatory minicamp and cornerback Stephon Gilmore didn’t show.

The other side: Danny O’Neil says Seahawks should pass on Gilmore

Since the beginning of the offseason, there have been plenty of rumors that the Patriots are willing to trade Gilmore. Head coach Bill Belichick has a history of moving away from quality starters as they get older. He got rid of Richard Seymour, Chandler Jones, Darrelle Revis, Trey Flowers and others while they were still in their prime.

Gilmore is considered one of the best corners in the league. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler. He was Defensive Players of the Year in 2019. He’s in the final year of a five-year, $65 million contract, but his base salary is a modest $7 million.

While the Seahawks looked into the idea of trading for Julio Jones, that wasn’t going to work because of his $15.3 million base salary. The Seahawks should consider Gilmore instead.

Cornerback remains the biggest question for the Seahawks. They have numbers after the departure of Shaquill Griffin, but are they going to be good enough to get the Seahawks to the Super Bowl? The leading candidates to start are D.J. Reed and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also have Tre Flowers, Damarious Randall, Pierre Desir, Ugo Amadi and rookie Tre Brown at the position.

Acquiring Gilmore would help make the Seahawks one of best secondaries in the league. They have Pro Bowl safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. They could put Gilmore at left cornerback and let everyone else battle for the right side.

Gilmore is 30, which isn’t over the hill. He may not have the 32 1/4-inch arm length head coach Pete Carroll likes, but he is 6 foot 1.

Naturally, Gilmore is looking to get more money from the Patriots, but the Patriots believe they have enough at cornerback to get by. Odds of him getting more money out of New England aren’t good.

It’s questionable whether the Patriots could get a first-round pick for Gilmore in a trade. The Atlanta Falcons didn’t get a first-round pick for Jones. If the Seahawks could pull off this trade, they would have to see if he’s willing to play at his current $7 million salary and without a guarantee of a contract extension.

If Gilmore is willing to play for the Seahawks without an extension, they could let him hit free agency after the season and get a third-round compensatory pick in 2023. To fit the $7 million into the cap, they could clear some room by getting Adams to agree to a long-term extension worth between $15.5 million and $16 million a year.

That would be a great rental.

Russell Wilson wants the Seahawks to go for it this year to get back to the Super Bowl. A trade for Gilmore could help.

Follow John Clayton on Twitter.

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