Mike Reiss of ESPN wonders if the Bills delaying a decision on matching the Patriots’ offer sheet to restricted RB Mike Gillislee could be an indication that they’re more likely to match it, given that they almost immediately had a decision on WR Chris Hogan last year.
Reiss mentions that it’s possible losing Hogan to New England last year could be one of a few factors influencing their decision this time around.
With all of this in mind, Reiss says that it’s his gut-feeling that Buffalo might be more inclined to match.
Although, Reiss spoke to someone in Buffalo with an informed opinion regarding this situation who did point out that the Bills currently have just six draft picks and not matching the Patriots’ offer sheet would net them an additional fifth-round pick.
Gillislee signed a two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet that would pay him $4 million in year one of the agreement. This opened a five-day window for the Bills to match Patriots’ offer sheet for Gillislee, which ends on Monday.
Buffalo placed an original-round tender on Gillislee a few days before the start of free agency, which seemed like a risky move, considering that it would have only cost them $700,000 more to use a second-round tender on him and likely would have deterred another team from signing him to an offer sheet.
Should they lose Gillislee to the Patriots, the Bills would collect a fifth-round pick.
Gillislee, 26, was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent just over two years in Miami before he was among their roster cuts at the start of the regular season.
After a brief stint with the Cardinals, the Bills signed him to their practice squad during the 2015 season and brought him back on a one-year deal.
In 2016, Gillislee appeared in 15 games and rushed for 577 yards on 101 carries (5.7 YPC) to go along with nine receptions for 50 yards receiving and nine total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 14 running back out of 62 qualifying players.