Report: Bills unlikely to match Patriots’ offer to Mike Gillislee
The New England Patriots are on the verge of stealing yet another key offensive player from the Buffalo Bills.
On Tuesday, running back Mike Gilislee — a restricted free agent — signed an offer sheet with the Patriots worth a reported $6.4 million over two years. The Bills now have an opportunity to match, but they do not have much salary cap space. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald expects Buffalo to let Gillislee walk.
The Bills haven't informed Gillislee of their final decision yet, but the first indication is they don't believe they'll match, per source.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) April 18, 2017
Last offseason, the Patriots signed former restricted free agent Chris Hogan to an offer sheet, and Buffalo was unable to match. The wide receiver ended up playing a key role in New England, catching 38 passes for 680 yards and four touchdowns. More important, Hogan had 17 catches for 332 yards and two scores in the postseason and was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets down the stretch.
Gillislee rushed for 577 yards and scored eight touchdowns on just 101 carries in 2016. That’s an impressive 5.7 yards per carry, and the 26-year-old did it while playing a clear backup role behind LeSean McCoy. In New England, Gillislee would likely replace LeGarrette Blount as the early-down back.
Losing another key player to the rival Patriots would sting, but the Bills may not have a choice.