Patrick Mahomes hit ‘grey area’ in NFL rules by attempting New England Patriots trade

Patrick Mahomes hit ‘grey area’ in NFL rules by attempting New England Patriots trade
Video patrick mahomes traded to patriots

Patrick Mahomes reportedly entered into the ‘gray area’ of the NFL rules back in 2021 as he attempted to recruit star cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the New England Patriots.

During the 2021 season, Mahomes reportedly reached out to Gilmore when it became clear the Patriots were ready to trade the corner away. Gilmore had joined New England in 2017 and starred for the franchise, winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 while he was a two-time First-Team All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, player-to-player recruitment is generally accepted around the NFL, while teams are prohibited to approach a player on another franchise. However, he highlighted what he labelled a ‘gray area’ – and it is linked to trades.

Fowler published an extensive deep dive into player-to-player recruitment and claimed a league executive revealed another case where a player had been recruited by another player through an agent. The executive involved reportedly threatened to report the team if they were involved in those talks, so the ‘gray area’ suggests player-to-player recruitment must strictly be what it says on the tin.

As Gilmore returned from injury in 2021, he expected the Patriots to trade or cut him as they shifted the makeup of the roster. The 32-year-old was ultimately surprised when Mahomes reached out to him and pitched a move to the Chiefs, which Gilmore claims was organic and legal.

“Mahomes gave me his number and we talked,” Gilmore told ESPN. “ The message was me coming here is a great situation for me.

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“It’s always good to have those relationships around the league where you can talk ball or other things.”

Rather than sending him to an AFC playoff rival like the Chiefs – who would reach the AFC Championship Game before losing to Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals – the Patriots brass opted to deal Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC. He featured in eight games and snagged two interceptions as Carolina finished 5-12.

Gilmore was aware the Chiefs were interested in his services as he headed into the following offseason given Mahomes had reached out to him. He decided to join the Indianapolis Colts on a two-year, $20million contract with $14m guaranteed, although the Colts struggled to a 4-12 record while Mahomes was named NFL and Super Bowl MVP as the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.