The New England Patriots had a rather active free agency period: not only did they keep 13 of their own unrestricted and restricted free agents, they also brought in seven players through the open market so far.
Will all of them burst onto the scene and have a major hand in the Patriots’ fortunes in 2023? Ideally, yes. Realistically, however, the answer is no.
That being said, fans do expect one player in particular to positively influence the team this season: tight end Mike Gesicki, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract to leave the Miami Dolphins and join the Patriots. According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, 52 percent of participants believe he will be the biggest difference-maker New England acquired in free agency.
A second-round draft pick by the Dolphins in 2018, Gesicki put up some solid numbers during his five seasons in Miami. He appeared in a combined 82 regular season and playoff games, catching 233 passes for 2,632 yards and 19 touchdowns. While his 2022 season was a down-year by his standards — Gesicki finished with only 34 catches for 377 yards and six scores in 18 games — hopes are high for the 27-year-old.
As more of a big slot than a true tight end, Gesicki will be asked to help replace the departed Jakobi Meyers as an interior receiving option. That responsibility, by the way, will also fall on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who 37 percent of fans see as the biggest impact player New England acquired in free agency.
In other questions asked last week, Patriots fans were asked to grade the team’s free agency haul: a majority of participants — 62 percent — gave it a B. The second-largest group (31%) handed out a C, with only 3 percent each giving an A or D grade. Only 1 percent thought Bill Belichick and company failed free agency.
As always, we also asked the community to share its thoughts. Here are some of the comments:
I hope it’s Gesicki
If it is then I think offense is going well
I actually see Gesicki replacing Meyers’ role as the chain-mover. I think he’ll have big numbers.
I went with James Robinson. I think he’s a sneaky candidate to surprise everyone.
subtraction of Patricia and maybe Judge. Winner. Winner
forest vs trees over and over
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