On Wednesday, The Pro Football Writers Of America announced the selection of New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore as its 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year..
Gilmore enjoyed his most consistent and dominant season in 2019. He ranked first in passes defended (20) and was tied for first in interceptions (six), including two which were returned for touchdowns. He primarily drew the task of covering each opponent’s most effective receiver. In doing so, Gilmore scarcely disappointed. He allowed just one touchdown in 17 games — including New England’s wild-card round loss to the Tennessee Titans — surrendered more than 55 receiving yards just twice, as outlined by NESN’s Zack Cox, via Pro Football Focus.
Gilmore is the first New England Patriot to win this award. He is also only the third cornerback to do so since PFWA members began voting in 1992. He joins some very elite company, etching his name alongside Charles Woodson (2009) and Deion Sanders (1994.)
This award, however, is not the first accolade which Gilmore has earned for his standout performance in 2019. So far, he has also earned a 2020 Pro Bowl selection and spots on the Associated Press’ All-Pro and the PFWA’s All-NFL teams.
The AP Defensive Player of the Year will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 1. It should be noted that the PFWA recipient has also won the AP award in four of the last five seasons, and 22 of the last 25 overall.
-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. He is also the host of the Locked On Patriots podcast. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC