Patriots Sign Free Agent Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki
It looks like the New England Patriots will be finishing off the first week of free agency on a high note, adding another impact player to their offense on Friday.
After sending tight end Jonnu Smith to Atlanta earlier this week in a trade that essentially allowed them to clear his salary, the Patriots went ahead and agreed to terms with Miami Dolphins free agent Mike Gesicki.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gesicki signed a one-year deal worth up to $9 million. This pairs him with Hunter Henry in a duo that’s now fairly talented, giving quarterback Mac Jones and new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien another dynamic piece to work with in their offense.
There’s also some familiarity between Gesicki and O’Brien. Gesicki had previously been recruited by O’Brien at Penn State, although he never got to play for him as O’Brien moved on prior to that season to take over as the head coach in Houston with the Texans.
Now, Gesicki will instead get to play for him in the NFL.
Grabbing Gesicki also removes another thorn from Bill Belichick’s side. While the tight end only had one reception for one yard in the opener in 2022, he caught two passes for 18 yards in the second meeting, which included a touchdown during the club’s 23-21 loss in Week 17.
Overall, Gesicki caught 32 passes for 362 yards and five touchdowns last season and has been a pretty dependable player. He’s missed just one game in five seasons and had caught over 50 passes for three-straight years, including 73 in 2021. However, his production dropped off last season in 2022 under new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive system.
One notable thing is that he’s a guy who moves the chains. He averaged a 60% first-down rate last year per reception, and he had 8 catches and 5 touchdowns in the red zone last season.
He’s also a strong finisher, with 11 of his 32 receptions coming in the fourth quarter, including 121 yards and 3 touchdowns, all higher than any other quarter. That’s also been a trend over the last few seasons, with his highest yardage totals and reception numbers being among the highest down the stretch.
For a club that had a hard time finishing games last year at times, Gesicki certainly appears to be someone who will solve that problem.
While New England may still potentially be in search of one more receiver, fortunately, thanks to this addition, their tight end position now appears to be set for at least 2023.
Posted Under: 2023 Patriots Offseason
Tags: Mike Gesicki