Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki was handed the franchise tag this past offseason after the former Penn State star performed at a high level over the past few years.
Gesicki, 26, is set to earn $10.93 million in 2022. It’s not a bad sum for a tight end in today’s NFL. With that said, the star player would like a long-term commitment. This won’t come until after the 2022 season.
The backdrop here is a report from Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus indicating that the Dolphins have put Gesicki on the trade block and are discussing a potential deal with other teams.
A productive pass-catching tight end just now hitting his prime is a premium in today’s NFL. Apparently, the Fins are not a fan of Gesicki’s fit in new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive system. That can’t be said for other teams around the NFL. Below, we look at three ideal trade destinations for the star tight end.
Minnesota Vikings provide Kirk Cousins with another weapon
- Vikings get: Mike Gesicki
- Dolphins get: Irv Smith Jr., 2023 2nd-round pick
Minnesota’s previous brass exhausted a second-round pick on Smith Jr. back in 2019 with the expectations that he’d replace Kyle Rudolph as a top tight end target for Kirk Cousins. It has not come to fruition. Smith Jr. recorded a combined 66 receptions for 676 yards in his first two seasons before missing last year with a torn meniscus in his knee. As for production, Gesicki outpaced Smith last season alone.
Mike Gesicki stats (2021): 73 receptions, 780 yards, 2 TD, 65% catch rate
The Vikings add a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end to team up with stud receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. The cost? Smith Jr. and a second-round pick next April. As for Miami, it gets a younger tight end who fits McDaniel’s system and adds more draft capital after losing a first-round pick and change in the Stephen Ross scandal.
Denver Broncos go big-game hunting again
- Broncos get: Mike Gesicki
- Dolphins get: Melvin Gordon, 2023 3rd-round pick, 2024 4th-round pick
Denver’s acquisition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson proves that this team is in win-now mode. It will be competing in a talented AFC West and is seen as the top competition for the Kansas City Chiefs.
With that said, acquiring another star pass-catcher for Wilson might put this squad over the top. Teaming him up with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy as pass-catching options would make Denver’s offense elite. Add in young running back Javonte Williams, and that’s magnified further.
From Miami’s perspective, it picks up valuable selections over the next two drafts while providing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with a Pro Bowl-caliber running back who can create balance on an offense that already boasts star wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
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Tom Brady gets another big-time target
- Buccaneers get: Mike Gesicki
- Dolphins get: Cade Otton, Tyler Johnson, 2023 3rd-round pick
Rob Gronkowski’s decision to retire caught some around the Buccaneers by surprise. It led to Tampa Bay signing veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. While Rudolph is more than a capable player at this stage of his career, he’s not the receiving threat that Gesicki is.
With Tampa Bay obviously in win-now mode, it makes sense for general manager Jason Licht to make another move that fit under this philosophy. Adding Gesicki to the mix to go with star wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones would be an absolute boon for Tom Brady and Co.