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Patriots to sign RB Mike Gillislee after Bills decline to match offer

(Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

The Buffalo Bills have declined to match the contract offer tendered by the New England Patriots to restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee.

The team announced the decision Monday, making official the two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet Gillislee signed.The Bills had five days to decide whether to match the offer.

Buffalo will receive a fifth-round draft pick from the Patriots as compensation. The Bills assigned Gillislee the original-round restricted free-agent tender, worth $1.797 million for one year. Gillislee was a fifth-round selection by the Miami Dolphins in 2013.

The Patriots now have six picks in this week’s draft — two third-rounders and single picks in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

It is now unlikely the Patriots will re-sign free-agent running back LeGarrette Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns. Blount was the Patriots’ top running back, totaling 1,161 yards on 299 carries in the regular season.

Gillislee, 26, was the Bills’ No. 2 running back last season behind LeSean McCoy, rushing 101 times for 577 yards and eight touchdowns. Among NFL running backs with a qualifying number of carries, Gillislee led the league in yards per rush (5.71), rushes per touchdown (12.6), first-down rate on rushes (38.6 percent) and third-down conversion rate on rushes (75 percent).

After two seasons with the Dolphins, Gillislee joined the Bills practice squad in 2015 and was elevated to the 53-man roster for the final five games of the season. He scored three touchdowns over those games.

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