Mike Gillislee part of “value” signings by Patriots

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The New England Patriots have had a very strong offseason so far with the additions of receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive end Kony Ealy and running back Rex Burkhead.

With the recent signing of Buffalo Bills restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee, the team continues to strengthen what was already a powerful group.

Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft described the organization’s offseason technique as balancing “known value” over “not being sure” – meaning that they already knew of Gillislee’s talent and production in Buffalo, and when he was up for grabs, they jumped on the opportunity. They valued his skills over a player they could draft at No. 163, which is why the Bills received that fifth-round pick as compensation.

Last week, New England and Gillislee agreed to a two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet, which will pay the running back $4 million in his first year with the team.

The presumption is that Gillislee will take over LeGarrette Blount’s role, as Blount remains a free agent. The Patriots’ other running backs include Rex Burkhead, James White and Dion Lewis. DJ Foster and Brandon Bolden will also compete for a spot on the roster.

Last season with Buffalo, the 26-year-old running back ran for 577 yards and eight touchdowns on 101 attempts.

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