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New England will send a fifth-round draft pick to Buffalo as compensation for the restricted free agent.
As NFL.com's Kevin Patra reminded readers, the move comes a year after the Patriots signed receiver Chris Hogan to a three-year, $12 million offer sheet the Bills also did not match.
In a full-time backup role to LeSean McCoy, Gillislee was remarkably efficient last season, earning 5.7 yards per carry and eight touchdowns on 101 attempts. The 26-year-old flashed speed and elusiveness on the edge, along with a willingness and ability to pound the ball between the tackles despite being listed at 219 pounds.
It shouldn't be viewed as a coincidence this offseason that the Patriots added the two most efficient running backs in the NFL in Gillislee and Burkhead, according to Football Outsiders metrics.
The addition of Gillislee could slam the door closed on a return for power back LeGarrette Blount in Foxboro.
But it won’t slam the door, mitigate or otherwise make the weekly backfield decisions any easier for fantasy owners looking to roll with any of New England’s stable of tailbacks.
Meanwhile, the Bills have second-year runner Jonathan Williams behind McCoy and could add another tailback this weekend in a draft deep at the position.
They also signed former Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert this offseason.