Mike Gillislee just went from loved to hated in Western New York.
The Bills elected not to match the offer sheet Gillislee signed with the Patriots, so he is now headed to New England.
Two years for $6.4 million and four million this year was too rich for the Bills.
Buffalo had the cap room, but LeSean McCoy is slated to make nearly $9 million this season. Paying running backs almost 13 million dollars isn’t ideal cap management in 2017.
The Bills will get a 5th round pick in the 2017 Draft (number 163 overall) from the Patriots in return.
Gillislee is a quality backup. LeSean McCoy isn’t well known for playing 16 out of 16 games. He’s also 29. It’s not past prime, but it’s getting close. Gillislee would have been excellent insurance for an offense that MUST run the ball well.
Is he worth 4 million dollars? Is any backup running back? Probably not. The Bills could have afforded to keep him, but instead, they can use that four million to fill two holes with decent-ish players. If those two guys are going to hold down spots at 30-40 snaps per game, it’s probably better than Gilly’s 10 or 15.
The Bills also have a very good offensive line. They’ve made non-pedigree RB’s like Karlos Williams and Gillislee look very dangerous. There’s an excellent chance the same will happen for whoever backs up McCoy next.
An extra 5th round pick in a deep draft (and especially deep at RB) is a nice throw in. It wouldn’t have been been an awful move to keep a talented player at only $3.2 million per season. However, letting Gillislee walk is probably the more economically sound move.
It’ll hurt to see him hurt the Bills twice a year with New England. And he will. This is still the better call for Buffalo.