The 2023 NFL free agency period is firing off at a breakneck pace. While some players will return to their current teams, most players, especially the larger names, will look for a potential new landing spot, as is the case with TE Mike Gesicki. As one of the biggest names at his position after spending the last five years with the Miami Dolphins, what are some possible landing spots for Gesicki for the 2023 season?
Mike Gesicki Free Agency Best Fits
The free agent class of tight ends has yet to truly take off, with the biggest move being a trade that sent Darren Waller to the Giants for a third-round pick. When it comes to signings, the largest contract we have seen is Hayden Hurst agreeing to a three-year, $21.75 million deal with the Panthers.
One of the best available options for teams looking to upgrade their depth chart would be former Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki.
Playing with the Dolphins during his rookie contract and on the franchise tag in 2022, Gesicki was a solid player but likely did not hit the lofty expectations many placed on him coming out of Penn State as one of the most athletic tight ends to enter the NFL in recent years. In those five years, Gesicki caught 18 touchdowns on 231 of 370 receiving with 2,617 yards.
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In January, following the conclusion of the Dolphins’ season, Gesicki reflected on his time in Miami but was uncertain of his future as he approached free agency.
“We’ll see. I’m not really sure at this point. I love it in Miami. I’ve been there for five years. Made a ton of memories. But we’ll see. I had a lot of fun playing today, a lot of fun playing the last five years.”
With a chance to receive the largest contract of his career and pick his landing spot, which teams would be the best fit for Gesicki and his skill set?
Gesicki Could Be a Missing Piece for the Cincinnati Bengals
The best chance for a team to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs and prevent the dynasty from taking off is not the Buffalo Bills but the Cincinnati Bengals. They were one score away from the Super Bowl in 2022 and were a stop away from lifting the trophy in 2021 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Joe Burrow said himself that the Super Bowl window for Cincy is as long as he is playing. I tend to agree. The Bengals have arguably the best 1-2 punch at receiver with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, and at this point, the goal needs to be to surround Burrow with as much talent as possible.
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Gesicki could very well be the missing chess piece that could push this team over the top and reach the NFL mountain top.
Bengals CB Mike Hilton has tried to recruit Gesicki on social media, saying, “you know where to come.” Gesicki did respond by explaining, “#88 is available over there too…”
As one of the best athletes at his position and with defenses already concerned with not only Chase and Higgins but Joe Mixon as well, Gesicki could take his career to a new level with the Bengals.
Would Gesicki Help the Lions Claim the NFC North?
With Aaron Rodgers leaving Green Bay for the New York Jets (eventually), the NFC North is wide open. Based on what we saw last season, the Detroit Lions might very well be the team to take it home.
The team made a surprising midseason move, sending star TE T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings in a rare in-division trade. While Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra were able to provide useful reps, the lack of athleticism and dynamic playmaking was apparent.
Gesicki could be the key piece for the Lions in order to take their next step. Offensively, they are as talented as you could ask for, with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams at receiver and David Montgomery and D’Andre Swift in the backfield.
Throw in a top-five offensive line and an improving defense, and the only things missing are a franchise QB and a weapon at TE. The latter can be fixed with Gesicki and take the position back to being a threat as it was with Hockenson. The Lions are legit and will prove it in 2023. They’ve made a splash already in free agency, but arguably the best fit for their future would be Gesicki.
Jordan Love Needs More Talent Around Him in Green Bay
The Packers are entering a new era with Rodgers set to leave for the Jets. Jordan Love has a nearly impossible task to fill the shoes of one of the all-time greats, but we have seen this play out before at Lambeau. The difference, though, is Love was not a highly-touted player and remains unproven.
While Christian Watson showed flashes of being a difference-maker, there remains an overall lack of passing options as Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and Robert Tonyan are either free agents or signed with a new team.
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Tonyan had a breakout year in 2020, where he had more touchdowns (11) than incomplete targets (7), but the TE position has been a relative blackhole for the Packers.
Gesicki would come right in and see more than his share of targets as the second or the third option in the passing attack while playing in the slot as a matchup weapon. For Love to get his career off to the right start in Year 4, Gesicki could be the best fit for his maturation and development.