Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Bills restricted free agent RB Mike Gillislee recently visited with the Patriots.
The Patriots continue to take a look at free agent running backs, even though they reportedly still have interest in bringing back LeGarrette Blount.
While most teams aren’t very active in the restricted market, New England has signed a few players away from other teams including last year when signed Chris Hogan to an offer sheet and the Bills declined to match.
Buffalo placed an original-round tender on Gillislee a few days before the start of free agency.
The original-round tender would cost the Bills around $1.797 million for the 2017 season and give them the right of first refusal for any offer sheet he receives from another team during free agency. Should they lose Gillislee to another team, the Bills would collect a fifth-round pick.
This came as a bit of a surprising, considering many assumed the Bills would use at least a second-round tender on Gillislee to prevent them from losing him to another team.
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.