The New England Patriots made moves Tuesday, signing Buffalo Bills restricted free agent Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet:
Here we go: #Patriots extended an RFA offer sheet to #Bills RB Mike Gillislee. It’s for 2 years, $6.4M, source said. $4M in the 1st year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2017
Right from the start, this is a bit of cash for the Patriots to be offering Gillislee. Much like the Rex Burkhead signing, the amount of money here suggests that the Patriots clearly have a plan for Gillislee and a role for him in this offense.
And they do: replacing LeGarrette Blount.
Yes, sadly for all those fantasy owners out there hoping beyond hope that Blount would return to New England to see if he could recapture some of his 18-touchdown glory, that door is closed. With this offer, the Patriots have filled up their running back depth chart and have closed the door on a reunion with Blount.
Now, can Gillislee replace Blount? Physically, no. No one can. Blount is a rare 6-foot, 250 pound human who can hit linebackers harder than they hit him. But Gillislee is still a very good running back. He had 101 carries for 577 yards—an impressive 5.7 yards per carry—and 8 touchdowns last season. In fact, he was ranked as Football Outsiders’ number one running back per DVOA in 2016. You’d think putting him in the role that made Blount a fantasy megastar would be almost too good to be true, right?
Well, in a way, yes. Obviously the Patriots have a clear plan for how Gillislee will help them win games, as they clearly also do with Burkhead. However, “helping the Patriots win games” does not often translate well to “being a fantasy star”. The Patriots have so many running backs on their roster that only time will tell how they plan to use them all.
If Gillislee is legit going to take the role of Blount and be their goal line back, then you can bet your bottom he’s got fantasy value. But if it’s going to be another committee of backs on the goal line with no clear rhyme or reason as to who gets the ball when, then might I kindly recommend not wasting a draft pick on him.
What do you think?
Would you draft Mike Gillislee onto your fantasy team?
This poll is closed
Maybe, possibly, sort of
I wouldn’t touch a Patriots’ RB with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole