Well, the New England Patriots have done it again. They have put their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills, in a bind by offering one of their restricted free agents a contract that the Bills do not want to match.
Last year, the Patriots offered restricted free agent, Chris Hogan, a contract with the real money being very front-loaded, and the Bills declined to match the offer sheet.
This time, the Patriots will have to give up a fifth-round pick if the Bills do not decide to match the offer sheet the Patriots have offered to running back Mike Gillislee.
The contract the Patriots have offered is a genius move. At first glance, the two year, $6.4
million contract may seem like very reasonable money.
When reading into it however, the Patriots have put $4 million real money into the first year of the contract. The Bills already have $6 million real money strapped into starting running back LeSean McCoy, so matching the Patriots offer is a tough proposition, considering the running back position is not as valued as it has been in the past.
Gillislee has averaged 5.7 yards/carry the past two seasons, and reached paydirt 9 times last season.
At 5’11” 215 lbs, Gillislee is a traditional one cut running back that fits the Patriot offense well. The interior of the Patriots offensive line is one of the most athletic in the league, and they used that athleticism to run a lot of zone concept running schemes, and Gillislee fits the mold of the running back that flourished in that type of scheme.
However, Gillislee is a suspect pass blocker and is not considered a receiving threat out of the backfield by any means, making him one dimensional.
Although he is a one dimensional back, he is dynamic and can help the Patriots find more balance on offense as quarterback Tom Brady makes his way to age 40.