While most of the attention has been focused on the Buffalo Bills’ 22 unrestricted free agents, the team also has four restricted free agents they need to make a decision on, including running back Mike Gillislee, who was tendered on Monday.
The Buffalo Bills have placed an original round tender on running back Mike Gillislee, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The former Florida Gator running back was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.
By placing an original round tender on Gillislee, the Bills have the ability to match any offer another team makes on the running back. If Buffalo does not match the offer, they will receive a fifth round pick.
There is a cost to tendering a player, however, albeit a small one. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, placing an original round tender on Gillislee will cost the Bills $1.797 million. Buffalo could have placed a second round tender on Gillislee, but it would have cost the team $2.746 million, which isn’t ideal when you consider the team’s salary cap situation.
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Gillislee, 26, gained 577 yards and scored eight touchdowns on just 101 carries last season, and proved to be a more than serviceable backup to starter LeSean McCoy.
With Gillislee tendered, the logical move for the Bills is to try to work out a long-term contract with him, lower his cap hit and give him more guaranteed money in the form of a signing bonus, which seems to be the plan based on what Rapoport said. The team could attempt to do the same thing with offensive lineman Ryan Groy and punter Colton Schmidt, who are also both restricted free agents.
After losing restricted free agent Chris Hogan to the New England Patriots last season, which was due to the way the Patriots structured their contract offer and handcuffed the cap-strapped Bills, it would be wise for Buffalo to work out a deal with Gillislee before free agency opens.
What do you think about the Buffalo Bills tendering Mike Gillislee? Would you like to see him sign a long-term deal with the team? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.