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FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Big news out of Foxborough Wednesday, The Patriots parting ways with cornerback Stephon Gilmore, a move that came as a surprise to Patriots fans.

The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is no longer a Patriot. But one local fan is still optimistic about the team’s outlook this season.

“I’m sorry to see him go, it’s a big loss, definitely. But so far we’ve been managing. I think we’ll be okay,” said William Burgos of Springfield.

Burgos spoke to Western Mass News, disappointed that two-time all-pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore was released by the patriots Wednesday morning.

Following his release, Gilmore made a statement on Twitter that reads in part-quote:

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my goodbye to this great fan base... Thank you for supporting this Rock Hill kid and allowing him to achieve his NFL dreams.”

Prior to the season, Gilmore was sidelined with a quad injury and placed on the “physically unable to play” list, making him ineligible for the first six games of the season.

Gilmore also missed a mandatory minicamp prior to the season in hopes of inking a new contract, but the Pats didn’t budge.

In a statement, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick thanked Stephon Gilmore for the role he played on and off the field.

"I am grateful to Stephon Gilmore for his significant contributions to our team. It was a privilege and pleasure to coach Steph, I appreciate him for the true professional and class act that he is and wish him all the best in the future. Following discussions over a long period of time, we mutually agreed to part ways today."

Belichick passed on multiple questions about the situation Wednesday morning, but he did offer this.

“There’d been a number of things that had gone on for a long period of time, and, finally, we just mutually reached the point that we reached,” said Belichick.

Hours later, Gilmore was traded to the Carolina Panthers. In return, the Patriots will receive a sixth-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

“It’s better than getting nothing. I heard they were going to release him and then at the last minute, boom, they traded him. So that’s something out of nothing,” said Burgos.

The Pats now look ahead to Sunday - when they hope to end a two-game skid against the Houston Texans. You can catch the action at 1 p.m. on CBS 3.

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