Stephon Gilmore has moved on from the Patriots, but he’s still not happy with how his departure played out.
Gilmore — who was traded to the Panthers last month for a sixth-round pick — told media on Wednesday that his issues with New England stretched far beyond contract negotiations.
“I wasn’t ready at the beginning of training camp, I’ll be completely honest with you, but the only thing I just didn’t like (was) how they handled my situation with my injury,” the star cornerback said. “You know, a lot went on with that, that I didn’t agree with it.”
Gilmore suffered a torn quadriceps last season in Week 15, and underwent surgery in the offseason. He was placed on the NFL’s physically unable to perform list ahead of the season, and missed training camp to continue his recovery.
Along with his injury issues, Gilmore and the Patriots were dealing with his contract issues. He is the final year of a five-year, $65 million contract with the Patriots, that he signed as a free agent in March 2017.
“And now that I’m here, I’m able to do the things I have to do to get me back ready where I need to be. I learned a lot there,” Gilmore, 31, said. “There are a lot of friends there, a lot of great coaches. I just didn’t like how they handled my situation with my injury.”
Gilmore declined to comment about the specifics of what he exactly disagreed with regarding the injury.
“I just put it behind me,” he said.
The four-time Pro Bowler had an impressive debut as a Panther, when he got a late-game pick in a win against the Falcons on Sunday.
Gilmore — the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 — will face his old team at home in North Carolina, when the Panthers host the Patriots on Sunday.