For the second time in 14 months, the New England Patriots have swiped a restricted free agent away from the division rival Buffalo Bills. Buffalo will receive a fifth-round pick as compensation from New England, which will be the 163rd overall selection.
The Patriots signed him to a two-year deal with $6.4 million, but the deal was front-loaded to make it harder to match.
The Bills' tender offer for Gillislee was $1.797 million for one year.
He enjoyed his finest season in 2016 when he rushed for 577 yards and eight touchdowns as LeSean McCoy's understudy.
He is a strong between-the-tackles runner who will compete for early-down reps with Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead.
Blount's impact in New England should not be lost, as besides his 18 touchdowns last season, he also contributed to the 2014 season when the Patriots captured Super Bowl XLIX.
The Bills will likely look to add running back depth with a rookie after losing Gillislee, but Buffalo can wait.
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. The Patriots now have six running backs under contract.
The Patriots signed restricted free agent receiver Chris Hogan last offseason after the Bills declined to match New England's three-year, $12 million offer sheet.