The Patriots agree with former Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have agreed to terms with free agent Mike Gesicki on a one-year deal worth up to $9 million, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.

Gesicki will pair with veteran Hunter Henry, giving the Patriots the duo they hoped to get in 2021 when they signed Henry and Johnnu Smith to big-money deals in free agency. The team traded Smith to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday. seventh round pick.

Gesicki was recruited to Penn State in 2014 by new Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. But O’Brien left soon after to become the coach of the Houston Texans, and Gesicki stayed at Penn State. Now they are reunited in New England.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been impressed with Gesicki in recent years: “He’s a tough guy to cover. Long. Fantasy runner. He can get down the field. He’s got great hands. He’s acrobatic, quick to split. He’s really, I mean, bigger than a real tight end.” receiver, but it works a little bit here.”

Gesicki, who had a career season in 2021, suffered a dramatic statistical decline in 2022 because he didn’t fit into new Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme, which requires tight ends to be skilled blockers.

Gesicki, 27, caught just 32 passes for 362 yards, his lowest in both categories since his rookie season in 2018, and saw action in just 451 snaps after handing the starting job to Durham Smith in training camp. By comparison, Gesicki caught 73 passes for 780 yards (both career highs) on 784 carries in 2021.

Gesicki played the 2022 season, his fifth with the Dolphins, on a franchise tag of $10.931 million.

His 6-foot-6 frame and his ability to bend into the slot or wide out offer a size advantage over defensive backs and a speed advantage over the linebackers covering him.

In five seasons, Gesicki, a second-round pick, has 231 receptions for 2,617 yards – an average of 11.3 yards per catch – and 18 touchdowns.

ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques and Matt Bowen contributed to this report.

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