The New England Patriots have offered a contract to Bills running back #Mike Gillislee for two years and $6.4 million, with $4 million of that money coming in the first year. The Patriots made that stipulation because they know that Buffalo is already cap constrained and will struggle to match that offer without making some moves. If the Bills choose not to match the Patriots offer, they will get a draft pick as their consolation prize.
Draft Pick Received from Patriots.
If New England does end up signing Gillislee, the #Buffalo Bills would receive a fifth round pick. That's in line with standard practice, as the Dolphins drafted him in the fifth round.
The Bills could potentially use that draft pick on a quarterback or on another position to bolster the roster.
Mike Gillislee 2016 Season.
The Bills running back had his best year ever in 2016, rushing for 5.7 yards per carry. Gillislee finished the season with 577 rushing yards and scored 8 touchdowns. He was sometimes the go to goal line back for Buffalo and offered a nice change of pace for star running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy was one of the best players in the NFL last season, but Buffalo wouldn't have led the league in rushing without the strong effort from Gillislee as well.
Bills Losing Players to Patriots.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots love taking players from Buffalo and turning them into productive ones in New England. Last season, Chris Hogan was signed by the Patriots and finished the 2016 season with 680 yards receiving and four touchdowns, career numbers for the wide receiver.
The Bills have already lost star cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots for 2017. Now it looks like they may lose yet another player in Mike Gillislee.
If the Bills fail to match the Patriots offer, they will still have star running back LeSean McCoy spearheading the attack. In addition, the Bills drafted rookie Jonathan Williams, who would likely take on a greater role with Gillislee gone. But there's no question that Mike Gillislee was a valuable piece of the league's best rushing attack.
If Buffalo does lose him, they will get a fifth round pick to spend on someone who could bolster the roster. But Buffalo will watch the Patriots gain a solid running back while losing the change of pace running back that made Buffalo's rushing attack so effective. Doug Whaley and the Bills are faced with a decision now: Spend the money and keep Gillislee or let him go to the Patriots and reap the benefits of a fifth round draft pick and additional cap space.