The New England Patriots are all about changes, and this includes shrinking their roster. Guess what happened to running back Mike Gillislee…
The Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy confirmed that the Patriots have released Mike Gillislee, and this ends his tumultuous tenure with the team. The running back joined the team last offseason in order to replace LeGarrette Blunt. He had three touchdowns on the opening day, but nothing worked for him in the last period. Gillislee was losing carries to Dion Lewis, and became part of the inactive list. He took part in just one game beyond October, and sat out the postseason.
The team has long employed a running back by the committee system. The Patriots employed four running backs, and one of the roster spots was guaranteed for first-round pick Sony Michel. Michel had serious injuries during training camp, but his condition is stable now. Rex Burkhead is retained because he can take both the passing and the running game. the team lacks punt-returning options, meaning he will end up playing special teams. James White is an excellent pass-catching running back, and gives nice value to Tom Brady. He ensured his place in the roster.
Gillislee knew pretty much everything about the system, and could check up on his mistakes last year. But, he didn’t count on Jeremy Hill. Hill came to the team with a strong track record as a former starter. He did a great job with the Cincinnati Bengals. Hill is a better runner, and has accomplished a lot at his blocker and receiver position. That’s what matters at the moment, and the Patriots are getting ready for the new season with full speed.
Burkhead and Michel are important for the roster, and the only virtue Gillislee has is his continuity. But, that didn’t work for him.