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Why the Colts traded Stephon Gilmore to the Cowboys

March 15th, 2023

Stephon Gilmore‘s run with the Colts lasted a single season.

Indianapolis has traded the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year to the Cowboys in exchange for a fifth-round compensatory pick, a source confirmed to the Indy Star. NFL Network first reported the news.

The Colts will receive pick No. 176, the later of the Cowboys’ two compensatory fifth-rounders. It gives the Colts it a third pick in the round after they acquired one from the Bills in the Nyheim Hines trade last fall.

Gilmore, 32, signed with the Colts last offseason on a two-year, $20 million deal. The trade clears $9.9 million on the salary cap this season, giving the Colts some more breathing room during the first week of free agency.

Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore made a few game-changing plays in his one season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gilmore signed with Indianapolis because he wanted to join a contender, and the Colts had recently acquired quarterback Matt Ryan in what appeared like a contending window. Ryan didn’t pan out in Indianapolis, and the team went 4-12-1 amid a combination of issues that resulted in Frank Reich being fired at midseason.

Gilmore still had a strong season, starting 16 games and intercepting two passes as the Colts’ top outside cornerback. He sealed victories over the Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders with pass break-ups on the final possession. He was a resource constantly helping younger players in the defensive backs room.

But as Indianapolis is in a transition period with new coach Shane Steichen and what will likely be a rookie quarterback, the Colts front office found value in resetting at the top cornerback spot. Now, Gilmore heads to another contender in the Cowboys, who are fresh off a divisional round appearance and should field a strong team again with Dak Prescott in his prime.

The trade creates some immediate and long-term needs. Kenny Moore II and Isaiah Rodgers Sr. are left among starting cornerbacks and both are in contract years. The Colts also let part-time starter Brandon Facyson walk to the Raiders this offseason as a free agent, dropping the roster to a point where veteran signings and draft picks have to both be on the table.

Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts trade Stephon Gilmore to the Cowboys

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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