The New England Patriots continued to add to their offense Friday morning, agreeing to a reported one-year deal with tight end Mike Gesicki. Let’s take a closer look at the 27-year-old and what he’ll add to this Patriots’ offense.
Name: Mike Gesicki
Position: Tight end
Opening day age: 27
Size: 6-foot-6, 250 pounds
Contract status: Under contract through 2023 (2024 UFA)
The Patriots are quite familiar with Gesicki as a player. While he’s spent his whole five-year career with AFC East rival Miami Dolphins, it was Bill O’Brien who recruited the tight end to Penn State back in 2012-13 before departing to become the head coach of the Houston Texans.
Throughout Gesicki’s professional career, his three most productive seasons (2019-21) came under Brian Flores and former Patriots offensive staffers (Chad O’Shea and/or George Godsey). During that stretch, Gesicki hauled in over 170 passes and 13 touchdowns. It was a quieter season last year under new head coach Mike McDaniel with 32 catches on 52 targets (lowest since his rookie season), but he still managed five touchdowns.
What is his projected role in New England? Gesicki’s role in Foxboro will be interesting as he pairs with Hunter Henry. Like Henry, he has not been known as a blocker throughout his career. He is however a vertical threat with a huge catch radius in the middle of the field and in the red zone. Bill Belichick has not been shy of calling Gesicki more of a receiver in the past, which could indicate how New England plans to continue to use him mostly as a big slot.
“Gesicki, he’s a big receiver,” Belichick said back in 2020. “I mean, he’s not really a conventional tight end, but he’s a tough matchup in the passing game”
Does he have positional versatility? The 6-foot-6 Gesicki is described as a tight end due to his size, but is technically more of a slot receiver. Throughout his career, he has been lined up in the slot - while also flexing out wide his fair share - more than any other position.
What is his special teams value? Gesicki has played less than 10 special teams snaps in his career, according to PFF. He should not be considered as a special teams contributor in New England.
What does it mean for New England’s salary cap? New England’s original deal with the Penn State alum was reported as a one-year deal worth up to $9 million. As always, the “up too” is the big thing here. There are not enough details to know his cap hit for this season, but it should be expected to fall below the $9 million landmark.
What does it mean for New England’s draft outlook? With Gesicki and Hunter Henry on one-year deals, New England should still look to dip their toes into one of the best draft classes at the position in recent years. They may not be as aggressive in attacking the position, but instead search for a Day Three prospect. New England also still needs a true blocking tight end which could play a hand in the type of player they look to select.
One-sentence verdict: Gesicki’s size and and ability to flex out wide provides New England’s offense with a mismatch weapon and red zone threat.
Instant grade: B
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