Panthers acquire Rock Hill native Stephon Gilmore in trade with Patriots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephon Gilmore is coming home.

On Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers traded New England a sixth-round draft pick for the veteran cornerback, the organization announced.

The 31-year-old Rock Hill native was named Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2018 and 2019.

Originally a first-round pick of the Bills in 2012, Gilmore signed a five-year, $65 million deal with the Patriots in 2017.

After suffering an injury late last season, he was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start this season. According to Panthers.com, Gilmore would have been eligible to return after Week 6, but the Patriots were expected to release him after they couldn’t agree to a restructured contract.

A former Mr. Football in South Carolina, Gilmore led South Pointe High to the 2008 state title his senior year. Playing alongside 2014 No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, Gilmore quarterbacked the Stallions to a 15-0 record before heading to the University of South Carolina.

Gilmore reportedly still lives in the Charlotte area in the offseason.

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