The New England Patriots decided to send Stephon Gilmore packing in 2021 despite the fact that he clearly had a ton of good football left in the tank.

After the Carolina native played a half-season for the Panthers, he was back on the free agent market and eyeing a shot at a ring.

Despite the best efforts of Matthew Judon, it looks like the Patriots were never in the running for his services thanks to some friction.

What makes Gilmore’s departure really sting, however, is the fact that he joined a potential

wild card team in the AFC and made New England’s path to the postseason even more difficult.

Gilmore joined the Indianapolis Colts on a two-year deal, joining a defense that was in dire need of some veterans in the secondary. 

Gilmore was a Pro Bowler last year despite limited playing time on a bad Panthers team,

which further illustrates his quality. This is bad news for the Patriots, even though Indianapolis might not be in the division.

With the fight for one of the three Wild Card spots even more of a dogfight than usual in the AFC,

watching a potential contender for one of those spots improve like this could vault them past New England in the power rankings.

Stephon Gilmore joins