Mike Gillislee headed to Patriots after Bills decline to match RFA offer

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25 April, 2017

While the Bills lose one of their promising young players to New England, there are benefits for Buffalo in this week's draft and in their financial outlook moving forward.

For the second straight year, the Buffalo Bills have made a decision to let one of their restricted free agents walk to New England to play for the Patriots.

As a result of not matching the Patriots' offer, the Bills receive New England's fifth-round selection, 163rd overall, in this week's draft as compensation. Coming off a 18-touchdown season, the 30-year-old likely expected to get more offers and for more money, but it doesn't seem like that's happened.

Gillislee rushed for 577 yards and scored eight touchdowns on just 101 carries in 2016.

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Last season was Gillislee's best in the National Football League since the Miami Dolphins made him a fifth-round choice from Florida in 2013.

The Patriots surrender a fifth-round draft choice in exchange for Gillislee, which leaves them with six total picks entering this week's draft.

He'll join a stable of running backs including James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, D.J. Foster and Brandon Bolden. The Bills assigned Gillislee the original-round restricted free-agent tender, worth $1.797 million for one year. Last March, the Patriots signed restricted free agent Chris Hogan away from the Bills with an offer that would have been salary-cap poison in Orchard Park. Against the Patriots a year ago, he had 12 carries for 85 yards and a score in the game in Buffalo.


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