BOSTON (CBS) -- The NFL Draft is just a few days away, and we're hearing plenty of rumors about the Patriots trying to move into the Top 10 to land a quarterback of the future. It will take quite a bit to move up from No. 15, but Bill Belichick may have a solid trade chip in his back pocket: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
If the Patriots don't want to give up multiple first-round selections to get into the Top 10 come Thursday night, ESPN's Dianna Russini believes that New England could include the veteran corner in a potential trade package, with Gilmore set to earn just $7 million in the final year of his contract.
"Something to keep in mind -- and it's a small little storyline to keep an eye on -- Stephon Gilmore is in the final year of his five-year contract with the New England Patriots. He's making about $7 million this season," Russini said on Tuesday's Get Up on ESPN. "The New England Patriots could perhaps deal Stephon Gilmore on draft night as part of a package to move up if they are in the business of getting a quarterback. I did speak to a team in the top 10 who told me that they've had calls with New England."
We've heard about teams in the Top 10 that don't need a quarterback being open to dealing their selection. Among that group, the Carolina Panthers at No. 8 and the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10 are the teams with the most glaring need at cornerback.
Dealing Gilmore would leave the Patriots with J.C. Jackson as the team's No. 1 corner. Jackson picked off nine passes last season, good for the second-most in the NFL, but there are some questions as to whether or not he could handle life as a team's No. 1 corner. It's a role that he struggled in last season when Gilmore was out with an injury.
The Patriots also have Jonathan Jones, Myles Bryant and JoeJuan Williams on the depth chart. Free agent signee Jalen Mills also a potential to get snaps at corner, though he's more of a slot guy.
The rumors have been flying fast and free recently, and they are coming from just about every direction. We've heard that the Patriots will definitely be moving up when the first round gets underway Thursday night, and we've also heard that they will likely be moving back. Now we're hearing that Gilmore could be in a deal to move up.
We'll finally find out what the team actually does in just a few nights.
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