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NFL free agency 2023: Mike Gesicki will be a bargain for the Patriots this season

The veteran tight end signed a one-year deal in New England.

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

When the news that tight end Mike Gesicki would join the New England Patriots first broke, reports stated that he had signed a one-year pact worth up to $9 million. That “up to” did a lot of heavy lifting, though: in order for Gesicki to earn that much money, he would have to hit all of the incentives embedded into the deal.

And those incentives make up a significant part of that initially mentioned sum. In fact, as a look at the details shows (as shared by KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson), the base value of the contract is “only” $4.5 million.

Mike Gesicki: Contract details

Base salary: $1.15 million (fully guaranteed)
Signing bonus: $2.4 million
Roster bonus: $850,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Incentives: $4.5 million
Salary cap hit: $4.5 million

Gesicki’s contract comes with $3.55 million in guarantees; his entire $1.15 million salary as well as his $2.4 million signing bonus fall into that category. Additionally, he can earn $850,000 in per-game roster bonuses — i.e. $50,000 for every game he is active — plus a $100,000 workout bonus.

Adding those numbers up, we see that Gesicki would carry a $3.55 million dead money charge if released compared to $950,000 in gross savings. Needless to say, however, the Patriots releasing the 27-year-old will not happen.

The main question instead is whether or not he will be able to reach the maximum value of his deal. In order to do so, Gesicki needs to achieve goals in four different categories: playing time, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. It is safe to assume that the respective thresholds have been set above his 2022 statistics — 45%-32-362-5 — to make the incentives not likely to be earned (meaning they will, if anything, hit the 2024 books).

What all of this shows is that Gesicki is a bargain for the Patriots, and well worth it even if he ends up pushing the value beyond the basic $4.5 million. It is a low-risk/high-reward contract from a team perspective.