Disclaimer: This article is purely speculation, no one has any idea what will happen in the future. I, like most fans, want Gesicki to be re-signed.
Mike Gesicki is without a doubt one of the Miami Dolphins best players. Not only does he have great chemistry with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but he is a playmaker and well liked in the locker room. That being said, the contract of Mike Gesicki is up at the end of the 2021-2022 NFL season.
For fans, it is concerning that Gesicki has not been extended, especially since he is a focal point of the offense. This brings me to ask the question: Is the writing on the wall for Gesicki?
Reason To Worry?
There are really two reasons why Miami fans should worry about Gesicki’s future. One of them being a contract extension not happening yet (or at least talked about) and his misuse/ disappearance from the offense as of late.
Mike Gesicki Contract Situation
Like I said above, it is a tad concerning that Mike Gesicki has not been extended yet. Especially since Dallas Goedert most recently signed an extension which probably raised the price for a Gesicki extension. Goedert signed a four year, $57 million dollar contract, equivalent to $14.25 million a year. This makes Goedert the second highest paid tight end by average money per year.
This means for Miami to resign Gesicki they will have to at least pay Gesicki $13 million dollars a year. This would make him the third highest paid tight end. That being said, I cannot see Miami signing Gesicki for that much. As we saw with the Xavien Howard situation, Miami can play hard ball.
Miami could play hard ball with Gesicki and not even offer him and franchise tag him or offer him less than what he is demanding (we’ll get to both of these later).
Gesicki’s presence on the offense during the past couple of weeks has been a lot different compared to last season and some other games this year. There can be a number of reasons for this. Defense’s could game plan for him better or the offensive game plan for that week could not emphasize him are just two reasons.
Now Gesicki’s targets per game are staying about the same week by week. His average yards per catch the past two weeks (weeks 12 and 13) has dropped by about 50%. This shows that Gesicki is being used less downfield and more in the flat. This does not really use Gesicki to his strengths and he is essentially a go up and get it guy.
In addition to all of this, recently, Gesicki seems to be absent for at least the first half of the game. All or a majority of his targets come later on in the game when the Dolphins are trying to secure the win. This can be due to Gesicki being Tua’s security blanket and he knows that if he throws it to Gesicki he will catch it.
Mike Gesicki Replacements
There is not true replacement for Gesicki in Miami’s offense. There is no player on this roster, and very few players in the NFL like Gesicki. Even though his blocking ability is questionable, his ability to make explosive plays and jump start the offense isn’t. Not to mention his chemistry with Tua is hard to beat as well.
That being said, Miami did draft Hunter Long in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft. In addition to that, we have been seeing a lot more of Durham Smythe (who is also a free agent at the end of the year) in Miami’s offense as of late. These are the two players that Miami could have in mind as potential replacements for Gesicki.
When Long was first draft, multiple fans said he was going to be Mike Gesicki’s replacement and Miami was going to let Gesicki walk at the end of the year. This was due to his athleticism he displayed in college and his ability to line up anywhere on the offense.
Long has not had much spotlight this season. Getting his first (and so far only) catch in week 13 against the Giants. This does not mean Long is bad, he just has not been given an opportunity, as he is mostly inactive during games. When Long is active, he is blocking a majority of the time.
Smythe was drafted in the same class as Gesicki and has mostly been used as a blocker. This year and especially as of late, Miami has been using Smythe a lot more in the passing game. Now while he has no where near the targets Gesicki has, his presence in the pass game seems to be increasing.
Smythe is a free agent after this year as well. Now the reason why Miami would opt to resign Smythe over Gesicki is simple: money. Smythe will cost a whole lot less than Gesicki, which may be compelling to Chris Grier and company.
Mike Gesicki Contract Solutions
Now even though it make seem like I have lost all hope that the Dolphins and Mike Gesicki work something out, I still hope something does. There are two ways that Gesicki stays a Dolphins next season. That is the franchise tag and resigning him to an extension.
Now is Gesicki and the Dolphins can not agree to a contract extension, Miami could always franchise tag him. The franchise tag will pay him a little under $11 million dollars. Miami may think this is a more reasonable number for Gesicki. With an estimated almost $70 million dollars in cap space next year, the franchise tag may cause more problems than it solves.
This is the win-win solution. Miami and Gesicki should both want to get an extension done. As I said earlier, the starting point should be $13 million dollars a year. Whether Gesicki will want more than that is unknown as of right now. But I would not be surprised if Gesicki demands at least $14 million dollars a year as he could easily get that in free agency from another team.
So is the writing on the wall for Mike Gesicki? Only time will tell. As it seems right now the answer could go either way. As the season continues to go on it will be interesting to see how Gesicki is used. Hopefully Miami and Mike Gesicki can work a contract extension out, as players like Gesicki do not come around that often.