Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
After searching for the past couple of weeks, the Patriots have found their big-bodied running back.
Bills declined to match two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet that RB Mike Gillislee signed with Patriots, per source. Gillislee now a Pat.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2017
On the surface, this may seem somewhat insignificant. The Patriots signed a backup running back to a two-year contract. Whoop dee doo, right?
This deal carries a ton of weight. A lot of dominos had to fall just right for this to happen, and a lot is going to go right because of it. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the Patriots’ signing of Mike Gillislee.
- Gillislee is technically a backup running back. However, he wasn’t stuck behind some scrub. For two years, he’s been slotted behind LeSean McCoy — a top-five running back. And honestly, for being a second option, he has put up good numbers. Last season, Gillislee ran for 577YD, scored eight touchdowns, and led the NFL in YD/ATT (for RBs with over 100 carries) with 5.7YD. For comparison’s sake, LeGarrette Blount only ran for 3.9YD/ATT.
- Speaking of LeGarrette Blount, I have to assume we’ve seen the end of his days in New England. Gillislee will fill his role as the bigger, stronger running back, and his services will no longer be needed. While losing Blount is unfortunate, it was inevitable. He played well in 2016, and wanted to cash in. The Patriots don’t work like that. They made him an offer they thought was fair and he refused to take it. That’s on him.
Patriots running backs: Mike Gillislee, James White, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, D.J. Foster, Brandon Bolden.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 24, 2017
- With the signing of Gillislee, the Patriots now have six running backs on their roster. Dion Lewis is Dion Lewis. James White and Brandon Bolden both re-signed new deals with the team this offseason. Gillislee and Burkhead are both newcomers primed to make an immediate impact. The odd man out? D.J. Foster. I wouldn’t be surprised if Foster spends the majority of 2017 on the practice squad or with another organization.
- I can’t be sure, but I think the restructuring of Danny Amendola’s contract allowed the Patriots to pull the trigger and sign Gillislee to this offer sheet. It was reported this morning that Amendola’s new deal freed up $4.75M in cap space for 2017. Gillislee signed a two-year, $6.4M deal, however, he is set to make $4M in the first season. To me, it would make sense that because Amendola agreed to restructure, the team felt comfortable using that extra $4+M to frontload their offer to Gillislee.
- Gillislee will come at a cost. Because the Bills had placed a fifth-round tender on him and refused to match the Patriots’ offer sheet, New England will send their fifth round pick in this weekend’s draft to Buffalo in exchange for the runningback. However, this seems like a small price to pay for the potential production Gillislee will bring to the Pats’ offense.
Updated Patriots draft picks:
3rd round: 72, 96
4th round: 131
5th round: 183
6th round: 200
7th round: 239
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) April 24, 2017
- The term highway robbery is defined as follows: excessive profit or advantage derived from a business transaction. In the dictionary, right next to that definition, there is a photo of Bill Belichick making a deal with literally any person from the Buffalo Bills organization. Last year, he stole Chris Hogan right from under their noses. This year, he forced their hand and took Mike Gillislee right from them. I don’t know what the hell they did to deserve this type of abuse from The Hoodie, but I’m sure glad they did it.