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Bills RB Mike Gillislee visits with New England Patriots

Are the Patriots still looking for running back help or are they merely trying to troll the rest of the AFC East?

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, New England recently hosted Bills running back Mike Gillislee on a visit. This is significant because Buffalo placed a fifth-round (original) tender on the talented power back a little more than a month ago.

In what would be considered his breakout year in 2016, Gillislee rushed for 577 yards (5.7 yards per carry) and eight total touchdowns. He was only targeted 11 times in the passing game but caught nine of those balls for 50 yards and another score. A former member of the Miami Dolphins, Gillislee was picked 164th overall by the Dolphins in 2013.

Gillislee, who is a strong north-and-south runner, defies some expectations. Though he is not on the heavier side for running backs, he packs a strong punch and is relentless in the red zone. He would not be a one-for-one replacement for someone like LeGarrette Blount if Blount's contractual stalemate with the Patriots continues.

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson visited and worked out with the Patriots last week and the team signed former Bengals standout Rex Burkhead last month.

If nothing else, the Gillislee visit is a win-win for New England. Having already gobbled up one of the Bills' best defensive free agents in Stephon Gilmore, this is yet another shot up north. The Bills will now have to prepare for the possibility that the Patriots make him an offer and Blount will have to seriously consider the fact that his team is ready and willing to move on without him.

So far this offseason the Bills have signed a pair of fullbacks -- Mike Tolbert and Patrick DiMarco.

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