Patriots trade All-Pro CB Stephon Gilmore to Panthers

The New England Patriots traded All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick.Shortly after the Patriots issued a statement saying the team and Gilmore had “agreed to part ways,” the Panthers confirmed that they had acquired the 31-year-old veteran in a trade.Gilmore is a native of Rock Hill, S.C., located about 30 miles from the Panthers’ home in Charlotte, N.C. He still lives in the area.Before the trade was announced, Gilmore addressed his departure from the Patriots in a tweet Wednesday morning.”We enjoyed so much success together and you have been an incredible inspiration for my individual achievements,” Gilmore wrote to Patriots fans before continuing with his gratitude for the Patriots. “… To Mr. (owner Robert) Kraft, the coaches, and the organization thank you for providing me with this platform and allowing me to be part of greatness. Most of all I want to thank my teammates who lined up next to me every Sunday with one goal in mind.”Those moments on and off the field will never be forgotten.”The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Gilmore has been on the physically unable to perform list this season as he recovers from surgery for a torn quad in December. He is eligible to return for Week 7 action.Coach Bill Belichick thanked Gilmore for his time in New England.”I am grateful to Stephon Gilmore for his significant contributions to our team,” Belichick said in a statement issued by the team. “It was a privilege and pleasure to coach Steph. I appreciate him for the true professional and class act that he is and wish him all the best in the future. Following discussions over a long period of time, we mutually agreed to part ways today.”