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2023 NFL free agency: Patriots sign former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki to one-year deal, per report

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The New England Patriots have a new tight end. According to a report from ESPN, New England signed former Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki to a one-year deal that can pay Gesicki as much as $9 million

The move comes just a few days after the Pats moved on from Jonnu Smith, whom they traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick. Smith had been one of two high-priced free-agent signings New England made at the tight end position prior to the 2021 season, when he signed for four years and $50 million and Hunter Henry signed a three-year, $37.5 million pact. 

Now, the Pats bring in Gesicki to work alongside Henry under new (and old) offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Gesicki played his college ball at Penn State, where O’Brien was the head coach at the time he was recruited (though O’Brien took the head-coaching job with the Houston Texans prior to Gesicki’s freshman year). 

Gesicki saw his role decrease dramatically last season with the Dolphins after the hiring of head coach Mike McDaniel, whose offense asks tight ends to be more traditional in-line blockers. Gesicki, despite being 6-foot-6 and 247 pounds, tends to line up in the slot and out wide and operate essentially as a monster-sized wide receiver. In the three seasons prior to 2022, Gesicki had averaged 59 catches for 684 yards and four touchdowns.

Along with JuJu Smith-Schuster, as well as Henry and DeVante Parker, he gives quarterback Mac Jones another big target to hopefully help the New England offense take a step forward and move on from last season’s disastrous performance. 

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