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Where Will Stephon Gilmore Sign?

Following an outstanding year for the Dallas Cowboys and a few weeks into free agency, one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL remains unsigned. Stephon Gilmore, who turns 34 in September, would make a tremendous addition to any NFL team needing a lockdown corner.

Last spring, the Cowboys acquired Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts in a trade for a compensatory 5th-round selection. Gilmore’s presence was immediately felt in Dallas the opening night as he intercepted Daniel Jones in route to a 40-0 victory over the rival New York Giants.

Gilmore was more crucial to the team’s success when star corner Trevon Diggs went down on September 21st, tearing his ACL in practice. The plan to pair Gilmore with two young, promising corners in Diggs and DaRon Bland was shortly lived. Gilmore had to step up and be the guy.

Bland went on to set a season record with interceptions, but that’s not possible without Gilmore performing the way he did. Gilmore turned back the clock and constantly locked down one side of the field or a team’s best receiver. Whatever Dallas asked of Gilmore, he delivered on the field.

It’s surprising to see Gilmore not signed to a team right now, though he might end up on a roster sometime soon. Here are some teams to look out for.

3 — Dallas Cowboys

Ideally, the Cowboys would reunite with Stephon Gilmore and get a full season with Diggs, Bland, and Gilmore as your secondary. With the passing-dominant league in 2024, having three solid corners would help the Cowboys’ defense transition out of the Dan Quinn era, after Quinn signed on to coach the Washington Commanders. However, the Cowboys re-signed Jourdan Lewis and are surprised of how quickly DaRon Bland acclimated to the NFL game. Jerry Jones is holding his wallet tight with pending contract renewals of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons; making fans question whether this team is all in or all out in 2024.

With the Cowboys not making many moves in free agency, it makes it less likely we see Gilmore back in Dallas. However, it’s not off the table until Gilmore signs elsewhere, especially when you consider Gilmore grew up as a Cowboys fan.

2 — Carolina Panthers

The Panthers just signed South Carolina Gamecock alum Jadeveon Clowney to a 2-year, $20 million deal last week. Clowney played high school and college ball with Stephon Gilmore. Both grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina; not far from the Panthers facility. Clowney made comments claiming Gilmore wants the Panthers to bring him back. Gilmore played in Carolina in the second half of the 2021 season, getting 2 interceptions in 8 games with 3 starts. This was under a previous regime of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have a completely different outlook but are still trying to find their identity.

If Gilmore wants to come home, a reunion with the Panthers makes sense. I’m not convinced Gilmore is entirely on board with a rebuild, either. If Gilmore wants to compete in the playoffs, the Panthers might not be the best destination for him at this time.

1 — Detroit Lions

The Lions need help, particularly in their secondary. Detroit has their starting strong safety Brian Branch listed as their third-string cornerback. If the Lions don’t sign a cornerback, they need to target a couple in this year’s draft, especially with the departure of CJ Gardner-Johnson who returned to the Eagles after a one-year stint in Detroit.

The Lions have Steven Gilmore, Stephon’s younger brother, under contract for 2024. Could Gilmore want to play with his younger brother? There’s a tie to Detroit, who also are in a position to contend in the playoffs. We saw the Lions emerge with a 12-5 season and win the NFC North for the first time in franchise history, their first division title since 1993 in the “NFC Central.” By joining the Lions, Gilmore has a chance to help the Lions make the next step and potentially reach the Super Bowl for the first time in Lions history.


Where do you think Stephon Gilmore signs? Is it one of these teams, or do you have a dark horse candidate for Gilmore’s services? Let us know in the comment section below!

Michael, along with his co-hosts Ryan Frick and Shannon Smith of The Cat Cave (Keep Pounding Podcast Network/FFSN), discussed this in more detail on their podcast this week here.


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