Today, the Buffalo Bills announced that they are placing starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore on season-ending injury reserve.
Gilmore was the 10th overall pick by the Bills out of South Carolina in the 2012 Draft, and he is reaching the end of the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. Over the previous offseason, though, the Bills exercised an $11 million option for Gilmore for the 2016 season. Considering that Gilmore earned $12.1 million over his first four seasons combined, this amounts to a massive pay raise. Gilmore will be the fourth-highest-paid Bill next season, trailing only Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Charles Clay. Barring future moves, next year’s Bills are due to spend nearly twice as much on their defensive players, as compared to their offensive players.
Gilmore currently stands fifth in the league with 18 passes defended, a feat that’s a bit more impressive considering that Gilmore missed last week’s loss against the Philadelphia Eagles due to the same injury. Since Gilmore’s league debut in 2012, he is tied with Minnesota Viking Terrence Newman for twelfth in the league in passes defended, with 50.
The Bills’ talented defensive unit has not made the expected leap into the upper echelon of defensive units upon the arrival of coach Rex Ryan. Buffalo’s defensive secondary is about league average in terms of yards conceded per passing play and overall passing yards conceded.