Patriots release 2017 RB starter Mike Gillislee

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One year after signing running back Mike Gillislee to a two-year, $6.4 million contract as a restricted free agent, the New England Patriots released him Saturday.

The move hasn't been announced, but Gillislee reacted to the news on Instagram.

"Horses don't stop they keep going"#betterdayz🤞🏾🙏🏾 thank you New England

A post shared by Mike Gillislee (@nothingwasgiven35) on

Gillislee had opened 2017 as the team's No. 1 running back before Dion Lewis seized the job in the sixth week of the season. Gillislee played in nine games last season, totaling 104 carries for 383 yards (3.7 yards per game) and five touchdowns.

This year, he was fighting for a roster spot behind locks Rex Burkhead and James White and first-round draft choice Sony Michel.

By cutting Gillislee, the Patriots elected to go with Jeremy Hill, the 2014 second-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, who is hoping to revive his career after signing a modest one-year deal in March.

The Patriots had surrendered a fifth-round draft choice to sign Gillislee away from the Buffalo Bills, who used the pick on linebacker Matt Milano. As a rookie, Milano played in all 16 games, with five starts. He projects as a starter at weakside linebacker in 2018.

The Boston Herald first reported the Patriots' plans to release Gillislee.