The Buffalo Bills have secured cornerback Stephon Gilmore through the 2016 season by exercising their right to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
The team announced the decision in a news release issued Tuesday, after the Bills opened a three-day voluntary veteran minicamp.
It’s a blessing obviously this team drafted me,” Gilmore told the Bills’ team web site. “They invested in me and it’s a blessing that they picked my fifth year up. And I’m just happy to be out here with my teammates and do whatever I can to help this team.”
Gilmore, the former South Pointe Stallion and Rock Hill native, has been a three-year starter in Buffalo since being selected with the 10th pick in the 2012 draft out of South Carolina.
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Since Gilmore was drafted in the top 10 picks in 2012, his fifth-year option is equal to the league’s transition tag for the cornerback position. That salary - over $10 million - would make the former Stallion and Gamecock one of the top-10 best paid cornerbacks in the NFL in 2016. He would be an unrestricted free agent in 2017, unless the Bills re-sign him in advance.
The news comes on the heels of a 2014 season in which Gilmore had a career-best three interceptions. For his career, Gilmore has six interceptions and has been credited with 32 passes defended in 41 career games, including 39 starts.