In the Starting Line-Up
On the back end you have Phillips, McCourty, Jones, Jackson, Duggar, Mills and Williams (not counting the "basically just special teams last year guys" like Bryant, Davis, Bethel, etc). As I said, it's not CB1 depth, but it is a very deep DB group with lots of flexibility. If Gilmore isn't there yes, they likely are not top 3, but they also probably remain upper middle (or as Mgteich states: average) in the now standard multiple DB defenses that comprise the base alignment.If Gilmore doesn't play, where is our CB depth?
Many here have come to adore the "all-man, blitz a lot" defense that having a true top 2-3 in the league CB1 brings, but as the so-called "Boogeymen" defense showed a couple years ago, no static approach lasts in the NFL. Multiple sets, alignments, and schemes are needed to be successful. Man, zone, swapping who gets doubled, who doesn't, pressure schemes, zone floods, etc, etc. Even if Gilmore does hold out, this is a group that can do those things - albeit at a lesser degree.
Lastly, what in this team's history shows that if Gilmore does hold out they will act as if it didn't and use his replacement (let's say it is JC Jackson) in exactly the same way?
I'm not saying losing Gilmore makes them a better team. It doesn't. It makes them worse. By the same token it's also not a death knell meaning they now become worse team than last year and completely out of the fringe playoff picture. They have enough depth in the back end (barring further injury, etc) to still have a pretty good defense (but maybe not a great defense).