Mike Gillislee will need to find a new home after one season with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots on Saturday released the veteran running back during final roster cuts, according to multiple reports. Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald was the first to report news of Gillislee’s release.
Gillislee plummeted down the Patriots’ depth chart last season after rushing for three touchdowns in Week 1 and another in Week 2. He played in just one of New England’s remaining 11 games, including playoffs, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry on 104 total rushing attempts.
The Patriots signed free agent Jeremy Hill this spring to compete with Gillislee, and the former Cincinnati Bengal clearly was the more productive rusher in the preseason, averaging 4.1 yards per carry to Gillislee’s 3.0.
It appeared Gillislee might have earned a spot on the 53-man roster after the Patriots chose not to play him in Thursday’s preseason finale, but The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported they did so as a courtesy, allowing the running back to avoid injury before he hit the open market.
Gillislee thanked the Patriots in an Instagram post.
Barring any surprises, the Patriots’ Week 1 roster likely will include running backs James White, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden and Hill. The team could choose to sign or trade for another back, however, and it remains possible Burkhead or Michel could be placed on injured reserve after missing all four preseason games.
New England waived undrafted rookie running back Ralph Webb on Saturday after cutting Khalfani Muhammad on Friday.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images