FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s blockbuster contract is looking better by the week. So the New England Patriots should strongly consider the idea of giving him the biggest test of his season.

Put him on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown at Heinz Field on Sunday.

“He’s a great receiver,” Gilmore said. “He has great speed, great quickness, a great quarterback that’s throwing him the ball, a running game that frees up the pass. He’s probably one of the best receivers in this league.”

Gilmore has been the Patriots’ best corner since returning from a concussion in Week 10, and his consistency has been one of his most valuable attributes during that stretch. Really, Gilmore’s strong play can be traced back to Week 5 against Tampa Bay when he erased Mike Evans while suffering the head injury that cost him three games.

Over his last six games, quarterbacks targeting Gilmore are 17 of 36 (47.2 percent) for 154 yards (25.7 yards per game), one touchdown and one interception. Gilmore also has four pass breakups, and he hasn’t given up more than 34 passing yards in any of those games. All the while, Gilmore has primarily squared off against Evans, Demaryius Thomas, Michael Crabtree, DeVante Parker and Zay Jones.

It’s indisputable Gilmore has pulled himself out of his early season funk. And as he becomes increasingly comfortable, it’s easier to see why Bill Belichick gave him a five-year, $65 million deal that was worth more total dollars than any Patriots defender in history.

But in order to deploy Gilmore on Brown, the Patriots would have to alter their recent string of game plans against the Steelers, when Malcolm Butler has gone one-on-one against one of the league’s most explosive offensive weapons.

Butler has held his own against Brown in their three matchups. Brown has beaten Butler 16 times on 22 targets for 241 yards and one touchdown, while Butler has an interception and three pass breakups. And in their most recent showdown in the AFC Championship Game, Brown only caught two passes for 24 yards on three targets against Butler.

But keep in mind a couple more factors. Butler was playing the best football of his career late last season and through the run to the Super Bowl, but he has been streaky this season. He struggled through much of the opening month, improved from Weeks 5-8, rode some peaks and valleys after the bye and then surrendered the first career touchdown to 5-foot-7 Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant on a jump ball. It was the seventh touchdown Butler has allowed this season.

Even with that in mind, the Patriots could still decide to use Gilmore as a shadow over impressive rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, which would leave Butler and a safety for Brown. That’d be another sensible strategy, since there might not be a single corner in the NFL who could take away Brown right now, as the Steeler leads the league with 99 receptions and 1,509 yards, and has 39 catches, 627 yards and six touchdowns in his last four games.

The latter scenario was a strategy the Patriots occasionally used in 2014 when Darrelle Revis would go one-on-one with an opponent’s second-best receiver, which would leave Brandon Browner or Kyle Arrington and a safety on the biggest threat. The thinking, if they needed two defenders on one receiver, they might as well not waste their best guy in double coverage.

“(Brown) challenges everybody,” Butler said. “I’ll be on him. Everyone will be on him. Everyone will have the opportunity, not just me. We’ve just got to play good football.”

Belichick doesn’t care about stats or fantasy points or individual egos in relation to matchups. Therefore, if he thinks Butler and a safety are the best way to cover Brown on the path to victory, it’s hard to argue.

So there are two valid ways to go about it. But if Gilmore was worthy of a contract that ranks second among corners in fully guaranteed money ($31 million) and eighth in average annual value ($13 million), it’d make sense to try him on the toughest matchup the Patriots will face at the receiver position.

At least, it’d be a whole lot of fun to watch.