Let’s define who Mike Gesicki is so we can get that out of the way.
He is a dynamic athlete. The Miami Dolphins found out when they picked him in the second round of the 2018 draft, following his eye-opening NFL Combine performance.
He’s spent the past two and a half seasons proving he’s a dangerous pass-catcher—170 receptions for 2,004 yards and 13 touchdowns—one who can skyrocket through the air and regularly catch impressive one-handed catches. can make.
He is an effective flex weapon, whose presence on the field forces defensive coordinators to make tough decisions about who (safety, linebacker, cornerback) should cover and how.
He’s undeniably one of the Dolphins’ top targets on a struggling offense, a promising 26-year-old playwright who’s trending.
But, Gesiki isn’t a tight end.
Two sets of Dolphins’ coaches have seen him struggle so much with his interception that they have reached the point where they have stopped asking him to block.
There are four other tight ends on the Dolphins’ roster because Geskey can’t do that important aspect of the tight end position, and as a result he is more of a slot receiver this year than he is a tight end.
There’s absolutely no shame in that. He’s in the direction the NFL is headed, players who can create an obvious mismatch. The problem is, no matter how the gassy is used, the Dolphins will still need a legitimate tight end, someone who can operate on the line of scrimmage.
So Durham Smith has played 353 offensive snaps this season, while Adam Shaheen has scored 255 and Sethan Carter has 43.
Gesicki edged them all on 492 snaps, but there are times and plans — like Miami’s base RPO offense — when he can’t be on the field unless he’s rowed wide as a split end receiver. .
Given that some teams have decided to defend Gassick with a cornerback (see Baltimore for an example), it would be ideal if the Dolphins used an actual receiver at that location. But the fragility of DeVante Parker and Will Fuller and the unreliability of Preston Williams have kept that from happening.
To complicate matters, Gesicki is an impending free agent and the franchise is stuck between a rock and a hard place regarding its future.
The going rate for a standout tight end is between $10 million and $14 million per season. That’s the market the New England Patriots established last season with the signing of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
Gesicki and his camp want a new deal that pays them something in that neighborhood, but the challenging part is getting a team ready to write a check.
It’s not impossible, but certainly won’t be easy because they know she’s not a perfect player, and her presence on the field usually telegraphs the play (it’s a pass) as she rarely manages to run a play. lineup, and it is not reliable enough to be counted for maximum protection package.
Given that the likes of Dallas Goedert of Philadelphia, David Nozoku of Cleveland, Evan Engram of the Giants, Tyler Conklin of Minnesota, Hayden Hurst of Atlanta, OJ Howard of Tampa Bay, Jared Cook of the Chargers, Dalton Schultz of Dallas and Zach Ertz of Arizona There are some genius tight ends. Hoping to become a free agent, don’t be surprised if the Dolphins roll the dice with Geskey.
Want to make a long term deal with Gesiki? Mark Andrews got a complete tight end from the Baltimore Ravens this year when he signed a four-year extension that was worth $56 million, guaranteed him $37.5 million, and earned him an annual salary of $14 million. a season.
Miami could use Tradition ($9.3M) or Franchise Tag ($10.8M) on Geskey to buy itself an additional season of development, and evaluation time.
It’s risky to go that route based on the last three players – tight end Charles Clay, defensive end Olivier Vernon and receiver Jarvis Landry – Miami used tradition or franchise tags, all of whom left that offseason – aside or Any other – After signing lucrative deals with other teams.
The compensation Miami received for losing those players—whether it was a pick for an inherited compensatory pick—is not even worth mentioning at the time, and the fact that Miami didn’t actually replace any of them. Is.
So the fear that history might repeat itself if Geskey is busted, and gone is troubling. But paying more than a limited tight end because he’s one of the few credible players on this team is the right answer?