The Offer Sheet to Mike Gillislee
The Patriots have reportedly signed Bills running back Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2017
The Bills currently have $9.3 million in cap space, but this doesn’t count the money they’ll have to pay their draft picks. The Patriots have over $20 million in cap space before the move, so front-loading this deal helps them in the short run, and makes it tougher for the Bills to match.
Gillislee was originally a 5th round pick for the Dolphins in 2013. They released him in September of 2015, after he’d only played three games for the Fins in two seasons. He was then signed by the Cardinals to their practice squad, but released before ever making their active roster. The Bills signed him to their practice squad in 2015, and he was promoted to the active roster.
In two games last year against the Patriots, Gillislee ran for 115 yards on just 18 carries. He scored eight touchdowns last year on just 101 carries.
If the Bills decline to match the offer, they’ll get the Patriots 5th round pick in the 2018 draft.
What about Blount?
The flip side is that if Gillislee signing goes through, LeGarrette Blount’s days with the Patriots are likely over. While we’ll hate to see him go – the positive for the Patriots is that he’d be another unrestricted free agent signing elsewhere, and this signing could bring them another compensation pick in next year’s draft. If Blount were to sign a contract in the $2-3 million range, the Patriots would get likely a 6th or 7th round pick in the process. They could also get one if Michael Floyd signs elsewhere. Considering the number of free agents the Patriots have after this season, that they’re stocking up on picks for next year’s draft shouldn’t be all that surprising.
So the Patriots could wind up giving up a 5th round pick for Gillislee, and getting a 6th rounder for Blount in return. Like the Kony Ealy deal this year, they’d be getting the player they want for only a few draft positions.
Gillislee is about four years younger than Blount, and has a lot less tread on the tires. He’s an inch shorter (5’11 to Blount’s 6’0) and 31 pound lighter (219 vs. Blount’s 250.)
Now, the key will be for Blount to get as much as he can on the open market. The more he gets, the better the pick will be.