Tight end Mike Gesicki is staying in the AFC East but moving from South Beach to Foxborough.
NFL Network Insiders Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported Friday morning that Gesicki agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $9 million with the New England Patriots, per sources informed of the agreement.
The 27-year-old tight end spent his first five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, generating 231 catches for 2,617 yards and 18 touchdowns.
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Following back-to-back 700-plus-yard seasons in 2020 and 2021, the Dolphins used the franchise tag on Gesicki in 2022, but he was a miscast tight end in Mike McDaniel’s system. Gesicki is a good receiver who can line up tight, in the slot or out wide, but struggles blocking, which the Fins’ new system requires. As such, he caught just 32 passes for 362 yards and five TDs in 2022.
Gesicki replaces Jonnu Smith, who was traded from New England to Atlanta, in the Patriots’ TE room.
While Gesicki in New England seems an odd pairing given his lack of blocking prowess, Bill Belichick has made it clear in discussing the TE when preparing to play Miami throughout the years that he views Gesicki as a big WR.
“He’s a hard guy to cover,” Belichick said of Gesicki in the past, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “Long. Crafty route runner. He can get down the field. Very good hands. Makes some acrobatic catches. He has enough quickness to separate. He’s got good receiving skills. He’s really, I would say, more of a big receiver than a true tight end, but he functions a little bit in that spot. He’s got good quickness. Obviously good length, good hands, and instinctive receiver that knows how to get open and can make good catches in tight coverage with his length and his hands.”
While he’s labeled a tight end, we expect him to function closer to a WR in Bill O’Brien’s offense. In his first four seasons in Miami — before McDaniel — Gesicki spent 1,297 passing snaps in the slot and 415 out wide, per PFF.
Adding Gesicki provides another target for Mac Jones, who owns position flexibility and can win in short-to-intermediate. Pairing Gesicki with newly signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and TE Hunter Henry gives the Pats options to move targets around in 2023.
Adding the former Dolphin shouldn’t preclude Belichick from chasing another WR target, perhaps through a trade or in the draft.
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