A former Gators star running back who was with the New England Patriots through their Super Bowl run last season was let go on Saturday, but didn’t stay out of work long. Mike Gillislee has agreed to join the New Orleans Saints on a one-year deal.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport had the news on Sunday afternoon about Gillislee making his way to the Bayou:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2018
The Saints were in the market for running back help to go along with last year’s breakout rookie Alvin Kamara. That’s because he and New Orleans will be without Kamara’s running mate Mark Ingram, who is suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for a PED violation.
Gillislee was signed to an offer sheet by New England last season, which Buffalo did not match and he burst out of the blocks with a three-touchdown game in their opening win. However, running backs rarely stay featured for long in New England and the mix of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead along with James White continued to get more action as the season wore on.
Gillislee was only active for one of the Pats last eight regular-season games, that was a week 15 game against Buffalo. And, he was a healthy inactive for all three of the Patriots playoff games, including Super Bowl 52.
New England did feature him in the second half of their third preseason game with Carolina. He carried 10 times and also had a third quarter TD (above). He did not play in their finale last Thursday night with the Giants.
Meanwhile, the Saints have veteran Shane Vereen, who also played in New England, as a backup with Kamara. Gillislee will have a chance to be a short yardage back and goal situations for them.
He may or may not be able to know enough of Sean Payton’s playbook to be active Sunday, as the Saints will play host to their NFC South rival Buccaneers.
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