According to multiple reports the Patriots signed Bills restricted free agent Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet, reportedly in the neighborhood of two years, $6.4 million. The Bills now have five days to match the offer or let Gillislee walk to New England, the second Bills RFA to do so in the last two seasons (Chris Hogan).
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2017
The writing is definitely on the wall for LeGarrette Blount now. He’s reportedly had an offer on the table since the start of free agency and is still hoping for more money. Gillislee would have a similar early down, short yardage role that Blount has held down for the better part of four seasons.
This could be one of the most sneaky exciting moves of the offseason. For as good a season as Blount had last year, I’ve long wanted to instead use someone like Gillislee who can create more when there isn’t much there. Blount is deadly in the open field, but if he’s touched at or behind the line of scrimmage he’s not going very far. That has led to some dreadful performances against good defenses who can penetrate. And Blount’s brainfart Super Bowl fumble (getting stripped by rookie) sure didn’t help his cause.
A four-headed monster of Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkhead and Gillislee would provide a variety of problems for defenses, and give the Patriots the ability to once again morph into any kind of offense they desire.
We’d just need to find Gillislee a better running back number than 35.