Patriots’ CB Stephon Gilmore wins AP Defensive Player of the Year award

Patriots’ CB Stephon Gilmore wins AP Defensive Player of the Year award
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore celebrates his interception against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (Steven Senne/AP)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots’ cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been selected as the Associated Press’ Defensive Player of the Year [DPOY] for the 2019 NFL season.

Gilmore is the first cornerback in a decade to win the award, according to the AP, and is the first Patriot to take home the honor since the award’s creation in 1971.

Gilmore finished the 2019 regular season tied for the league lead in interceptions with six, his most in a single season in his career. Two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns, one coming at Miami in Week 2 and the other against Cincinnati in Week 15.

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He also recovered a fumble in the 2019 campaign.

In his eighth season in the NFL, Gilmore was named a first-team All-Pro for the second straight year and was selected to his third career Pro Bowl.

He received 21 of 50 votes available in DPOY voting, seven more than Chandler Jones, the former Patriot who earned 14 votes as a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals.

Gilmore is in his third season with the Patriots and was an integral piece of a defense that allowed the fewest points per game (14.1) and finished as the top total defense in the NFL. His 20 passes defended this past season was tied for the most in the NFL, according to the team.

The last cornerback to win the award was Charles Woodson in 2009 when he was a member of the Oakland Raiders.

The Associated Press contributed to portions of this report.