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Patriots Safety Reacts To Stephon Gilmore's Absence

Stephon Gilmore on the sidelines for the Patriots.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 27: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots reacts after defeating the Las Vegas Raiders at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Stephon Gilmore didn't report to the New England Patriots mandatory minicamp on Monday morning, sparking more questions about his current standing with the organization. Although expected, Gilmore's absence marks a significant escalation in the conflict between him and the franchise.

Nevertheless, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All Pro has the support of at least one of his teammates in the secondary.

Adrian Phillips, who spent last season with Gilmore in New England, didn't seem to mind the cornerback's absence on Monday. He expressed his unwavering support for the 30-year-old in a post-practice media session.

“I support my brother. I wish he was here, but I support him all the same,” safety Adrian Phillips said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “What he has going, whenever he gets back here, he’ll let you know how it went.”

Phillips wasn't the only teammate of Gilmore's to take a firm stance on Monday. Longtime Patriots captain Matthew Slater shut down the conversation about the cornerback while expressing his support.

"That's a situation I don't want to get too far into, because it's frankly none of my business," Slater said, per Reiss. "Obviously you support all your teammates, whether they are here or not."

Unsurprisingly, Gilmore has had a rocky few weeks with the Patriots leading to his minicamp absence. The four-time Pro Bowler has expressed his frustration with his current contract and is heading into the last year of his deal, where he's set to earn $7 million. With both sides unwilling to budge, he's been tied to various trade rumors.

Gilmore is expected to miss all of the team's mandatory minicamp, which will earn him over $93,000 in fines. Although trade talk has been swept under the rug for now, it's possible that the situation could be headed in that direction.

Whatever the Patriots and Gilmore decide to do, it looks like the organization's players will stand behind their teammate. At least for now.