Gillislee is a Patriot

Stitch01

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$7.1MM for Gillislee and Rex Burkhead would be a pretty surprising use of cap resources to me. Starting to think Lewis isnt part of the plan for next year.
 

kelpapa

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The Bills have a little over $9.3 million in available cap space per OverTheCap.com
 

SeoulSoxFan

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BB vowing not to make the same mistake after low balling the Sanders offer a few years back.

Is that $9.3m accounting for the money they have to set aside for the draft picks? If so, can't imagine the Bills spending $4m on a RB.

Trying not to get too excited about Lewis, Burkhead, White, and Gillislee combo. Really trying.
 

dbn

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With Amendola coming back, they are already stacked at the skill positions even if they don't nab Gillislee. Wow will they be deep.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Per ProFootballRumors.com:

"The Bills, meanwhile, currently have less than $10MM in cap space, meaning matching the Patriots’ terms could be a problem. Losing Gillislee, who averaged an NFL-best 5.7 yards per carry on 101 attempts last season, would leave Buffalo with Jonathan Williams, Mike Tolbert, and Joe Banyard as depth pieces behind starter LeSean McCoy."

McCoy makes $6.25m this year. Bills will be thinking twice before committing over $10m a year on their #1 and #2 backs.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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@mikerodak

Bills have $10.8M in cap space, which considers Gillislee’s $1.797M tender. Matching deal would lower space by ~$2M, per @RapSheet details.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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@mikerodak

Mike Gillislee, on 101 carries, led NFL last season in YPC (5.7), first downs/rush (38.6%), third-down rush conv. (75%) and rush/TD (12.6)
 

dbn

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To follow up on my previous post:

TE: added Allen, lost Bennett
WR: added Cooks (possibly lose Floyd)
RB: added Burkhead (possibly add Gillislee, possibly lose Blount)

They were already deep at the skill positions last year.


edit: and of course there's that other TE who will (crossing fingers) come back and stay healthy this year...
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Gun to my head I probably would have tried to go this route before Burkhead and just plugged Gillislee into the Blount spot, but resource allocation aside, I loved the fit from the minute I saw that he could be available.
 

Stitch01

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Why not? There's plenty of carries and receptions to go around.
Well they signed a RB to a one year contract for more money than they've paid a running back for years. Then they made an offer to Gillislee for even more money. They had phased Lewis out of the passing down role last year in favor of James White last year and it seems unlikely White isnt going to be a party of the '17 offense. Pats took a more run heavy approach, but not sure there are "plenty of carries and receptions" to go around for four backs or gameday active roles for four backs. Amendola probably has a return game role and just restructured.

Seems most likely that they are looking to upgrade from Lewis based on their evaluation of his post surgery work/ability to stay healthy.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Bills forum wailing on Whaley for not tendering Gillislee a 2nd rounder for just $900k more.

Hogan, Gilmore, and now possibly Gillislee.

How's competing with the Pats, Mr. Pegula?
 

Mooch

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Well they signed a RB to a one year contract for more money than they've paid a running back for years. Then they made an offer to Gillislee for even more money. They had phased Lewis out of the passing down role last year in favor of James White last year and it seems unlikely White isnt going to be a party of the '17 offense. Pats took a more run heavy approach, but not sure there are "plenty of carries and receptions" to go around for four backs or gameday active roles for four backs. Amendola probably has a return game role and just restructured.

Seems most likely that they are looking to upgrade from Lewis based on their evaluation of his post surgery work/ability to stay healthy.
I wonder if we'll see the Pats use White more as a slot receiver in 2017.
 

RG33

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Well they signed a RB to a one year contract for more money than they've paid a running back for years. Then they made an offer to Gillislee for even more money. They had phased Lewis out of the passing down role last year in favor of James White last year and it seems unlikely White isnt going to be a party of the '17 offense. Pats took a more run heavy approach, but not sure there are "plenty of carries and receptions" to go around for four backs or gameday active roles for four backs. Amendola probably has a return game role and just restructured.

Seems most likely that they are looking to upgrade from Lewis based on their evaluation of his post surgery work/ability to stay healthy.
I kind of feel like they look at Lewis as a hybrid player -- kind of our version of Tyreek HIll, though obviously not as explosive. Get him some RB touches, get him some WR touches, get him some Kickoff touches -- who cares what position you label him, design specific plays for him and see how he can impact the game. . . . . All the while limiting his hits so he can actually stay on the field.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Wonder how those dollars compare to what was on the table for Blount. Agree with Stitch this is a little surprising and may indicate Lewis is a goner.
 

RedOctober3829

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Well they signed a RB to a one year contract for more money than they've paid a running back for years. Then they made an offer to Gillislee for even more money. They had phased Lewis out of the passing down role last year in favor of James White last year and it seems unlikely White isnt going to be a party of the '17 offense. Pats took a more run heavy approach, but not sure there are "plenty of carries and receptions" to go around for four backs or gameday active roles for four backs. Amendola probably has a return game role and just restructured.

Seems most likely that they are looking to upgrade from Lewis based on their evaluation of his post surgery work/ability to stay healthy.
It had a lot to do with Lewis' setback with his knee more than anything. He was never 100% next year.
 

Ale Xander

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Love this move, whether he signs or not. Very Belichickian to wait until the day before.


Wish I had time today to go into detail.
 

Brand Name

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Pants off if they get this done. This is exactly the guy who I wanted them to sign for backfield depth in FA. It all makes sense given Buffalo's tender level, since BB hates the 5th round, after all. Football Outsiders agrees, noting of RBs with 100+ rushes: He was 4th in DYAR (cumulative), 1st in DVOA (rate), 3rd in Success Rate.

I also like how this impacts Buffalo's cap situation should they match, and that the deal is front-loaded, just like Hogan's. This would put them under $1M in remaining cap space post draft, let alone the imbalance it would cause with spending at RB.

Any chance they're possibly selling high on White, even with only one year left on his deal? I'm more in the camp that this signals negativity about Dion, but thought it worthwhile to possibly float out there.
 

H78

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Pants off if they get this done. This is exactly the guy who I wanted them to sign for backfield depth in FA. It all makes sense given Buffalo's tender level, since BB hates the 5th round, after all. Football Outsiders agrees, noting of RBs with 100+ rushes: He was 4th in DYAR (cumulative), 1st in DVOA (rate), 3rd in Success Rate.

I also like how this impacts Buffalo's cap situation should they match, and that the deal is front-loaded, just like Hogan's. This would put them under $1M in remaining cap space post draft, let alone the imbalance it would cause with spending at RB.

Any chance they're possibly selling high on White, even with only one year left on his deal? I'm more in the camp that this signals negativity about Dion, but thought it worthwhile to possibly float out there.
Yeah I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how stacked this offense is if the Bills don't match.

I mean, holy fuck. In the salary cap era I would have never imagined you could construct a roster like this - and STILL have cap space. It's unreal. This may be BB's masterpiece.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Any chance they're possibly selling high on White, even with only one year left on his deal? I'm more in the camp that this signals negativity about Dion, but thought it worthwhile to possibly float out there.
White makes less than $800k this contract year. He will be paid by someone in 2018, a la Vereen, but he is a great value for the Pats in 2017.
 

dcmissle

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Mr. Snapface indeed. This from PTF, worth quoting at length:

"Today the Patriots signed restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet that they hope the Bills won’t match, and previously the Patriots signed running back Rex Burkhead away from the Bengals. What do Gillislee and Burkhead have in common? The average fan may not know a lot about them, but the analytics people love them.

Analytics website FootballOutsiders.com ranked Gillislee as the most efficient running back in the NFL last year, and Burkhead as No. 2. Analytics website NumberFire also had Gillislee first and Burkhead second. Analyst Warren Sharp’s metrics had Gillislee first and Burkhead second in success rate, and Burkhead first and Gillislee second in the fewest “missed yards per attempt,” or how close they came to being successful on the plays that weren’t quite good enough to quality as successful.

The various analytics websites have slight differences in the way they rate players, but they all tend to support the same traits in a running back, namely consistently helping the team pick up first downs. Both Gillislee and Burkhead were excellent at picking up first downs last season, gaining first downs more than 30 percent of the time. Meanwhile, for all the focus on LeGarrette Blount and his 18 touchdowns last year, Blount picked up first downs on just 22.4 percent of his carries. The analytics models say Blount was actually a mediocre running back last year, and that may explain why the Patriots are willing to let Blount walk and turn their attention to Gillislee and Burkhead."

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/04/18/with-burkhead-and-gillislee-signings-patriots-buy-into-analytics/
 

dcmissle

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Yeah I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how stacked this offense is if the Bills don't match.

I mean, holy fuck. In the salary cap era I would have never imagined you could construct a roster like this - and STILL have cap space. It's unreal. This may be BB's masterpiece.
The 2007 offseason will always stand out because of the magnitude of Moss and because they really hadn't done anything like that before. But this is incredible. They basically took the Jimmy Johnson draft philosophy -- target your guys and get them, don't let the draft fall to you -- and used the draft chips in trades and FA instead, picking their guys off other rosters. George Allen is smiling somewhere.
 

nattysez

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Sal Capaccio ‏Verified account @SalSports 41m41 minutes ago
Gillislee already counting $1.8M on Bills cap. If they match he'll count approx another $2.2M. They don't, they clear $1.7M, get 5th rd pick

Sal Capaccio ‏Verified account @SalSports 38m38 minutes ago
Paying over $3M for a backup RB is tough to justify for teams, especially when starter already makes over $8M.
While this is all true, I could see Pegula deciding enough is enough and signing Gillislee purely out of pride and not wanting to have another of his players scooped up by the Pats, cap implications be damned.

Could the Bills match the offer sheet, but then renegotiate a long-term, cap-friendly deal with Gillislee during this off-season? Or does Gillislee have to play under the tendered deal for this year?
 

DJnVa

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While this is all true, I could see Pegula deciding enough is enough and signing Gillislee purely out of pride and not wanting to have another of his players scooped up by the Pats, cap implications be damned.

Could the Bills match the offer sheet, but then renegotiate a long-term, cap-friendly deal with Gillislee during this off-season? Or does Gillislee have to play under the tendered deal for this year?
I'd love for the Bills to react emotionally like that.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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While this is all true, I could see Pegula deciding enough is enough and signing Gillislee purely out of pride and not wanting to have another of his players scooped up by the Pats, cap implications be damned.

Could the Bills match the offer sheet, but then renegotiate a long-term, cap-friendly deal with Gillislee during this off-season? Or does Gillislee have to play under the tendered deal for this year?
I just took a quick look at the CBA. RFA offer sheets are pretty rare and clubs matching them also rare so there's not too much precedent, but if I'm reading the CBA correctly, it goes like this: Once player signs an offer sheet, the player and the club need to put together the principal terms of the deal and include it as a certificate to the prior club (in this case the prior club is the bills). The Bills then have 5 days to accept the certificate, which then becomes a binding contract if they do so. That contract is a bit different from regular player contracts in that it's not yet fully documented since it's just an agreement to match the terms in a formal contract. Nevertheless, the CBA calls that thing -- let's call it a thing -- a "Player Contract," which is a defined term in the CBA and I think means that the thing that comes out of the exercise of right of first refusal to match an RFA offer sheet is, indeed, treated no differently from any other "Player Contract" under the CBA.

So, bottom line, if I'm reading it right (and it's a pretty complicated document so I guess I might not be), the answer is that the Bills would then have the same right as the Patriots or any other team would with a player who is under contract for the next 2 years, including restructuring if they desired.

Now there may be another provision somewhere in the CBA that precludes a club from restructuring a contract very quickly after its formation to include worse terms. I'm not sure, but I think I've heard that. In that case, they'd probably need to add new value somehow but that could be done in a way that gives cap relief I think.
 

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Cutting Shady isn't an option, should be, but its the Bills. I think his cap hit is 7.5-8.5m the next two years. Ideally if they could absorb that, keep Gillislee and sign maybe AP or Blount, they'd be better off. But the cap hit and picking 10th gives them no chance of keeping Gillislee
 

NortheasternPJ

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I posted it at some point but I'd love have the Pats go get Gilmore, Gillislee and Robert Woods in the offseason (prior to Cooks / Amendola deals) and stomp the Bills with their own players.

I love this signing, if it happens.

Will Blount be out of the league at this point? HIs trip to Pitt sent his value into the abyss.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Mr. Snapface indeed. This from PTF, worth quoting at length:


The various analytics websites have slight differences in the way they rate players, but they all tend to support the same traits in a running back, namely consistently helping the team pick up first downs. Both Gillislee and Burkhead were excellent at picking up first downs last season, gaining first downs more than 30 percent of the time. Meanwhile, for all the focus on LeGarrette Blount and his 18 touchdowns last year, Blount picked up first downs on just 22.4 percent of his carries. The analytics models say Blount was actually a mediocre running back last year, and that may explain why the Patriots are willing to let Blount walk and turn their attention to Gillislee and Burkhead."

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/04/18/with-burkhead-and-gillislee-signings-patriots-buy-into-analytics/
I wonder if they accounted for the fact that it's impossible to get a first down when you're running on 1st (or 2nd or 3rd or 4th) and Goal. Take those carries out of his stats (and everyone else, too) and then calculate his first down rate.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Just a small point to make about all this, but it's pretty interesting how the bad draft position that the Patriots have by virtue of winning the Super Bowl actually has a silver lining (beyond having won the Super Bowl).

The Patriots traded their fifth round pick for Mingo. No big deal at the time, right? A fifth rounder, who cares.

Well, they needed a fifth rounder to make an offer to Gillislee. If you traded away your fifth round pick, you need to have one that's better in the same round in order to try to sign an RFA to an offer sheet. The Patriots have a comp pick in the fifth round, but that wouldn't be good enough, so instead they will have to use the fifth rounder they got from Denver for Derby. They can do that, because they finished with a better record than Denver and thus have a worse pick.

If they hadn't had that pick, they would have needed to to acquire a fifth round pick in order to sign the offer sheet. Since they finished first, any fifth round pick other than a comp pick would do. But for teams that actually finish lower in the regular season, and thus have higher draft picks, if they traded away their late round picks it would be harder to find a higher fifth round pick.

What's interesting about the CBA is that it seems pretty clear that you have to have a pick in the same round. That is, New England could use a 4th round pick. Maybe that's out of fairness to the other clubs.
 

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I wonder if they accounted for the fact that it's impossible to get a first down when you're running on 1st (or 2nd or 3rd or 4th) and Goal. Take those carries out of his stats (and everyone else, too) and then calculate his first down rate.
TDs are counted as first downs, I believe
 

E5 Yaz

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The Bills will have until Monday to match the Patriots' two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet to RB Mike Gillislee, according to Tuesday's league transaction notice.
 

Stitch01

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I posted it at some point but I'd love have the Pats go get Gilmore, Gillislee and Robert Woods in the offseason (prior to Cooks / Amendola deals) and stomp the Bills with their own players.

I love this signing, if it happens.

Will Blount be out of the league at this point? HIs trip to Pitt sent his value into the abyss.
I doubt he'll be out of the league, but he's not going to get paid very much money and I wont be surprised if what the Pats offered (and I would guess it wasnt very much) is the highest offer he sees. His skill set is fairly fungible, he's not going to get much guaranteed money or a multi-year deal (unless its a dirt cheap second year that is more valuable to the acquiring team than to Blount)
 
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Folks could be right about this spelling the end for Dion Lewis, but if we follow BB's actions, as soon as DLew was healthy enough for regular carries he was installed as the primary RB in the offense. (Which makes sense, given how dynamic he and the offense were in limited time during the 2015 season.)

Considering that, plus the fact that most would expect what they saw from Lewis in 2016 - decent, but not armed with the burst stolen, hopefully temporarily, by his recovery from ACL surgery - and I can't help but think/hope BB and Co. will look to see if Lewis regains his 2015 form now that he's a full year removed from going under the knife.

Maybe the Gillislie signing is just a value thing, in addition to a chance to safeguard he position since most of the RBs on the roster, including Burkhead, will be FAs after this season.
 

Toe Nash

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I'd love for the Bills to react emotionally like that.
They're sort of stuck with an aging McCoy that they can't trade (thanks Rex!), but I wouldn't be surprised if Gilislee is better right now (for the cap hit). Big contracts for RBs are not smart.

Put another way, giving your guy 2/$6m when the best coach of all-time wants him for that much isn't exactly "reacting emotionally". Signing a guy at a replaceable position that takes a ton of contact to a 5 year deal because you saw his highlight reel is.