Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore revealed he didn't like how the New England Patriots handled his return from a torn quadriceps injury and that contributed to his departure. Gilmore was also unhappy that the talks regarding his new contract weren't progressing and that led to the Patriots sending the cornerback to the Panthers early last month.
Gilmore is set to take on his former team for the first time since the split as the Panthers host the Patriots this Sunday. "I just didn't like how they handled my situation, my injury. A lot went on with that I didn't agree with," Gilmore told Patriots reporters on a conference call from Carolina, per ESPN.
"Now that I'm here, I'm able to do the things I have to do to get me back ready to where I need to be. I learned a lot there. I have a lot of friends there. A lot of great coaches. I just didn't like how they handled my situation with my injury."
Gilmore refused to get into specifics
"I don't want to get into specifics. I just didn't agree with it. I've put it behind me, and [am getting] ready for this game," Gilmore said, when asked what the Patriots could have done differently.
Gilmore said he and the Patriots felt it was the best to split. "That's a reason also, too," he said. "But a lot goes on into it. It's not just one specific thing. At the end of the day, it's a business.
They treat it like a business, and we made the best decision for each other. ... We had a conversation and it was better for both of us to go in opposite directions, whether it was the contract or whatever." Gilmore insists he is happy to be a Panther now.
"I was OK with it," Gilmore said. "It's a business. You can't really control things when you're playing in the National Football League. You just have to go with it, and I did. God put me in this position, and I'm happy."
Gilmore is now focused on helping the Panthers win games. "It was better for both of us to be in this position and I'm happy I'm back home now," he answered. "Things just didn't work out. That's life.
You have to move on, and handle your situation the best way you can. ... This is in the past. We have a big game this week coming up. I'm just looking forward to that opportunity."