Bills give Gillislee the original round tender

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The Bills have placed the original round tender on restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Because he was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2013, the Bills would get a fifth-round pick in return if another team signs him and the Bills don’t match. He’s a restricted free agent with three years of service because he didn’t play in 2014 and caught on with the Bills late in the 2015 season.

If Gillislee plays the 2017 season on the tender, he’ll make $1.797 million. The NFL finalized the tender amounts earlier on Monday.

Starting Thursday, Gillislee can negotiate with other teams. He could also sign a longer-term deal with the Bills, and the NFL Network report said the sides will try to do that. The fifth-round tender indicates the Bills believes potential suitors might instead focus on finding running back help in a loaded draft class.

Gillislee played in 15 games for the Bills last season and was the primary backup to LeSean McCoy. He ran for 577 yards and eight touchdowns.

9 responses to “Bills give Gillislee the original round tender

  1. Not many people realize but this guy could start as the lead back on probably 10 different NFL teams right now. So far I’m not going to go nearly as far as to proclaim him as the next Shady, but he sure can produce consistently. Hope the bills lock him up.

  2. The Bills must be looking for some team to make Gillislee an offer that the Bills never intended to match in the hope of receiving another draft pick.
    In one of the deepest RB drafts ever, only Bills GM Whaley would think to spend $2 MM on a backup.
    Hopefully the correct scenario is the former and not the latter.

  3. So for 800k more, he could have a 2nd round tender, making him virtually untouchable, but they gave him the Original? To me, this is Whaley saying, “I’d trade Gillislee right now for a 5th round pick.” I have been less hateful than most on Whaley, but this I don’t agree with.

  4. .

    Yeah, but you get a chance to gauge the market with this tender. He could find a long-term deal that pays out less annually than this tender, then the Bills match and he stays on a great deal. Otherwise, you tender him at 2nd, nobody even considers it, then he plays it out on a more expensive contract. 800k doesn’t seem like much, but shaving that off of 5-6 contracts can add up to a solid role-player on team desperate for depth. I don’t argue he outperformed the tender, and I also don’t argue that he’s a better option than a rookie back, but financially this makes sense. Also, he was out of the league for a reason, and they have a 5th round back on the roster as is. It protects the team from complacency on part of the player.

  5. I don’t know about the original 5th round tender for Touchdown Mike…anybody that has seen him play knows the guy is starting caliber. He lead the league in YPC last year with almost 600 yards rushing as the #2 back in the league’s #1 rush team. I have a BAD feeling we lose him just like we lost WR Chris Hogan last year to NE….

  6. .

    Why are people so hung up on Chris Hogan? The guy is mediocre at best, playing with a HOF QB in a system that exploits the only thing Hogan has going for him. You think 3 teams whiffed on him? He wasn’t bad here in Buffalo, but he had some terrible drops and struggled to separate. Gillislee is a great #2 back, perfect change of pace for Shady, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a tender of $2 million. You can, and probably will, find another back in the draft just like him. Karlos Williams anyone? If he stays, awesome, if not, you have Johnathan Williams and you can always pick up a guy in the draft. Heck, you should always take a late round back, usually the most efficient pick as they more often than not provide value. Still, 5th round picks are still valuable picks, so you’ll need to pry him away from the Bills with an offer they won’t match plus the pick. That’s asking a lot for a change of pace back.

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