Earlier today, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the New England Patriots have extended an offer sheet to restricted free agent Mike Gillislee. According to NFLPA records, the Bills now have $10.8 million in salary-cap space, a figure which includes Gillislee's existing $1.797 million restricted free-agent tender.
Last year, the Patriots gave a similarly structured offer sheet to restricted free-agent wide receiver Chris Hogan, and the Bills declined to match. New England purposefully front-loaded the contract - just like it did with Hogan's past year - to make it hard for Buffalo to match.
The Buffalo Bills have watched helplessly from across the road as the New England Patriots have pillaged and plundered the league to create a juggernaut roster.
Signing Gillislee to an offer sheet likely indicates the Patriots are not looking to bring back LaGarrette Blount, who is now a free agent.
The Patriots would have Gillislee and Rex Burkhead signed for over $3 million each and Dion Lewis and James White under contract for one more season apiece.
Gillislee is another underrated talent that is often overshadowed by Bills superstar running back LeSean McCoy.
To carve out room in the budget for Bill Belichick's would-be new toy at running back, the Patriots convinced Danny Amendola to take a heavy pay cut to stay onboard.
Gillislee finished the 2016 season with 627 total yards and 9 touchdowns while posting 0.30 net expected points per rush - ranking him first overall out of the 42 running backs with at least 100 carries.
And while Blount has always been a fan favorite, his time with New England needed to come to an end.
The New England Patriots are in position to poach a valuable backup away from their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills for a second consecutive offseason. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Patriots have not announced the move.