Oh, AFC East incest, how we have missed you. The New England Patriots on Tuesday signed Buffalo Bills restricted free agent Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the deal is a two-year contract worth $6.4 million, with $4 million in the first season. The Bills have five days to decide to match the offer, though they are expected to allow Gillislee to depart. As an original round tender, the Patriots would be forced to give the Bills a fifth-round draft choice in exchange for Gillislee.
Of course, it was the Miami Dolphins who drafted Gillislee in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida.
This would mark the second straight offseason in which the Patriots have signed a Bills restricted free agent, who used to be a member of the Dolphins. In 2016, New England added wide receiver Chris Hogan from Buffalo; Hogan spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons on Miami’s practice squad and earned the nickname “7-Eleven” during Miami’s appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks when running back Reggie Bush (who also played for the Bills - AFC East incest) commented that Hogan was always open.
Signing Gillislee to an offer sheet likely indicates the Patriots are not looking to bring back LaGarrette Blount, who is currently a free agent.