Source: Colts add Gilmore on a 2-year, $ 23M deal

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The Indianapolis Colts are giving cornerback Stephon Gilmore a two-year, $ 23 million contract that includes $ 14 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gilmore will be the second veteran addition to the Colts’ secondary this week after Indianapolis signed safety Rodney McLeod on Thursday.

The cornerback was a need for the Colts after they swapped starter Rock Ya-Sin for the Las Vegas Raiders for pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue and non-re-signed starter Xavier Rhodes.

The Colts have reshaped their defense after the departure of coordinator Matt Eberflus, who is now head coach of Chicago, and hired Gus Bradley as his replacement.

Indianapolis’ defense now features five-time Pro Bowler Gilmore, Ngakoue and DeForest Buckner on the line, linebacker Darius Leonard and one of the league’s best slot machines in Kenny Moore. All five of these players have been selected for at least one Pro Bowl in their careers.

Gilmore played the 2021 season with the Carolina Panthers, who traded a third round in 2023 to the New England Patriots in October to get him. The Panthers added the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year in hopes that he could replace first-round pick Jaycee Horn, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 3 of the Houston Texans.

Gilmore, 31, was on the list of physically unable to perform when he arrived in Carolina, still recovering from offseason surgery on a torn quad and not eligible to return until week 6. He was activated in week 8 and played the last eight matches, starting three. He had an interception in his Carolina debut in Atlanta to retain a 19-13 victory, and then followed it up with another in his home debut against New England. After the season, he was added to the Pro Bowl as a substitute.

He said after the deal that he did not appreciate the way New England handled his quad injury, which he suffered in week 15 of the 2020 season.

Gilmore, who grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, had told ESPN before a late-season game at Buffalo that he would like to return to Carolina. The Panthers liked the veteran leadership that was brought to a young Carolina secondary. The complicated issue was the 2018 second round, Donte Jackson, 26, who re-signed with the Panthers on a three-year deal last month.

The 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft of the Bills, Gilmore has 27 interceptions and 116 passes defended in 10 seasons.

ESPN’s Mike Wells and David Newton contributed to this report.

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