The Bills declined to match the two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet for running back Mike Gillislee, the team announced Monday. New England will send a fifth-round draft pick to Buffalo as compensation for the restricted free agent.
In a full-time backup role to LeSean McCoy, Gillislee was uber-efficient last season, earning 5.7 yards per carry and eight touchdowns on 101 totes. The 26-year-old flashed speed and elusiveness on the edge, along with a willingness and ability to pound the ball between the tackles despite being listed at 219 pounds.
The addition of Gillislee could slam the door closed on a return for power back LeGarrette Blount in Foxborough.
For the Bills, losing another promising player to the Patriots, after utilizing what many believed was a too-low tender, will go down as another strike against general manager Doug Whaley among frustrated Buffalo fans.
The Bills have second-year runner Jonathan Williams behind McCoy and could add another tailback this weekend in a draft deep at the position. They also signed former Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert this offseason.
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