Buffalo Bills: Stephon Gilmore’s Contract Nothing to Worry About

Aug 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite the current impasse between the Buffalo Bills and Stephon Gilmore over a long-term contract extension, there is every reason to be optimistic about the two sides eventually coming to an agreement.

As the Buffalo Bills ‘ continue their countdown to the new season, there are numerous questions surrounding a team looking to end their 16-year playoff drought. One of the biggest queries centers on the defense’s ability to successfully adapt to Rex Ryan’s system, after struggling in 2015.

Another important question to ask, regards the future of Stephon Gilmore in Western New York. As reported by Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News, there hasn’t been much progress in attempts to sign him to a long-term contract extension.

The Bills picked up Gilmore’s fifth-year $11 million option, to give them more time to hash out a new deal. However, as things stand, he can leave in free agency at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign.

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The 25-year old has expressed his frustration with the lack of negotiations, by sitting out of all of the voluntary offseason workouts. While he is expected to return this week for minicamp, a lot of people are worried about his current impasse with the team.

Some analysts believe Gilmore could be looking for a deal similar to the $36.5 million Josh Norman is guaranteed over the next two seasons in Washington. Depending on your source, the Bills currently have between $11.5-$13.5 million available in cap space for 2016.

As Dunne points out, the concern is only increased by the Bills recent history of dealing with elite cornerbacks who they drafted. Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements are the main examples of players who left via free agency, to sign lucrative deals with other teams.

However, it’s hard to believe the Bills will allow the same fate to happen to the 2012 10th overall draft pick, especially under the Pegulas’ regime. They will have been made well aware of his importance, given that Ryan’s schemes put a lot of pressure on the corners.

Despite only appearing in 12 games last season, Gilmore led the Bills in interceptions, matching his career-high of three. He was second on the team in pass defenses, and Pro Football Focus ranks him as the ninth-best cornerback in all of football.

Buffalo Bills
Dec 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) intercepts a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Bills 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Another reason why you should be confident, is because general manager Doug Whaley named the Rock Hill, South Carolina native as a player he wants to lock up long-term. Further, he is arguably the prime concern now, with Cordy Glenn‘s future already resolved.

One final factor to consider, relates to a similar situation which took place last year. After an offseason of little traction, Marcell Dareus finally signed a long-term deal after the Bills’ third exhibition game.

Overall, there is plenty of time to agree a new contract with Gilmore, with the organization having nothing to gain by allowing the situation to linger on into the new season. People are already lining up to repeat the oft-used phrase of “same old Bills” – now it’s up to Whaley and company to prove this is no longer the case.

Next: Marcell Dareus rues departure of Mario Williams

What are your thoughts about the current impasse between Stephon Gilmore and the Bills? Do you see them coming to terms on a new deal, or are you concerned he will leave via free agency after the 2016 season? Let us know in the comments section below.