The Buffalo Bills locked up cornerback Stephon Gilmore for another season Tuesday by agreeing to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract.
By doing so, Gilmore will be under the team’s control for 2016 at a salary of $11.082 million. That figure amounts to the average of the top 10 salaries among cornerbacks in the NFL. The contract is guaranteed for injury only – meaning Gilmore would be paid if he were to get hurt in the upcoming season and unable to play in 2016. It becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the 2016 league year, which traditionally falls in early March.
The Bills had until Monday to pick up the option. Doing so was never in doubt. Gilmore has been a steady contributor since being selected with the 10th overall pick out of South Carolina in 2012. He has started 39 of 41 career games, with six interceptions and 32 passes defensed.
Last season, Gilmore ranked 26th in the Pro Football Focus’ cornerback rankings. However, from Week Eight until the end of the season, Gilmore finished seventh in PFF’s ratings.
For the season, he was targeted 69 times by opposing quarterbacks, and allowed 43 receptions for 516 yards and five touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Roger Goodell informed team owners on Tuesday that the NFL is giving up the tax-exempt, not-for-profit status the league was granted in 1942.
Going forward, the league will operate as a taxable entity just as each team has done through the years. The NFL had come under criticism from Congress and others because of the tax exemption.