New England Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore has shared his reaction to Tom Brady leaving for Tampa Bay in free agency.
Gilmore, 29, joined the Patriots ahead of the 2017 season. He played with Brady in New England for three years, winning Super Bowl LIII.
The All-Pro defensive back is returning to New England in 2020, but Brady isn't. The six-time Super Bowl-winning QB signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers earlier this month.
Gilmore did not want to see Brady leave, but he wasn't surprised. He shared his reaction to the news while speaking with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
“Not surprised,” Gilmore told ESPN.com. “A player like him, playing somewhere that long, you never can see it, but it shows you that in the National Football League it can be anyone going somewhere. It’s a business, and that’s how you have to look at it.”
The Patriots could now be led at quarterback by Jarrett Stidham. The former Auburn quarterback backed up Brady in 2019. His teammates - including Gilmore - think highly of him.
“He came in and worked hard and got better and better as the year went on,” Gilmore said of Stidham. “He has a strong arm. He makes some tough throws. Definitely made it hard on me in practice each and every week, going against whoever I was covering, making some great throws. It allowed me to get better in practice to prepare for the games.”
The Patriots brought in Brian Hoyer to compete for the job, as well, but most expect it will eventually be won by Stidham.
It should give Stidham confidence to know that he has the support of a player like Gilmore.