The Saints have signed running back Mike Gillislee to a one-year deal, according to NFL.com.
Gillislee, who was released by the Patriots Saturday, began last season as New England’s starting running back, but fell out of favor with coach Bill Belichick. He finished the season with 399 total yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.
In 2016, Gillislee flashed his potential by rushing for 577 yards and eight touchdowns on just 101 carries with the Bills.
The Saints released running backs Jonathan Williams and Terrance West after the preseason.
Although New Orleans will feature a heavy dose of Alvin Kamara this season, Gillislee could carve out an early role with Mark Ingram suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
New Orleans traded away their first-round pick in next year’s draft to move up and get defensive end Marcus Davenport this year, and they offloaded next year’s third-round pick to acquire QB Teddy Bridgewater. So, Should Gillislee and fellow running back Boston Scott prove useful, the Saints could look to trade Ingram this season.