New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore made history on Saturday when he bagged the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) trophy during the NFL Awards. The win made Gilmore the first Patriot to bring home the DPOY trophy. He was also the first cornerback to capture the plum since Charles Woodson won the prestigious trophy in 2009. Gilmore’s teammate, quarterback Tom Brady, was among the first to congratulate the cornerback on social media. On his Instagram account, Brady congratulated Gilmore for his feat. "There was no doubt to me and all our teammates how incredible you played week after week!," Brady said, adding that they admire and respect the work that Gilmore puts during practice.

"You worked your *ss off and we are all proud of you!!!" added Brady.

Other Patriots' teammates and former New England players also extended their congratulations to Gilmore, including twins Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty, Ja'Whaun Bentley and Ty Law. Even fellow cornerback Richard Sherman congratulated Gilmore on the award, saying his Patriots counterpart deserves the award. “DPOY!!! Congrats to the best defensive player this season @bumpnrungilmore !!!” the McCourty twins posted on social media.

Now that Gilmore has proven that he’s the best defender in the NFL, Law said the next stop for the cornerback will be the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The South Carolina Gamecocks also congratulated their former player, saying “No more questions. The best defensive player in football is @BumpNrunGilm0re.” Gilmore played 12 games with the Gamecocks before he was selected 10th overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Gilmore thanks Brady, other teammates

Gilmore expressed his gratitude to Brady on social media, replying “Appreciate you Tom #earnednotgiven”. He also thanked other teammates who congratulated him on his achievement. “Thanks fam i appreciate y’all,” said Gilmore, who also extended his thanks to Patriots fans via a video posted on

“Hey Pats Nation. Thank you for your support. Thank you for voting for me for Defensive Player of the Year,” said Gilmore, adding that he could have not achieved the feat with the help of the fans, teammates, coaches and the people working behind the scene. Gilmore recorded six interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, and a league-best 20 passes defended in the regular season.

Kraft speaks anew about Brady’s future

Patriots team owner Robert Kraft attended the NFL Awards on Saturday where he was asked again about Brady’s future in New England. “You gotta ask him. I sure hope so,” Kraft replied per a video posted by Fox Sports on its Twitter account.

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Kraft provided a glimmer of hope for Patriots fans, saying the organization intends to bring back their long-time quarterback next season. For the first time in his two-decade career in the NFL, Brady will be an unrestricted free agent and receive offers from other teams.