Mike Gesicki Contract Extension: Why It May Not Happen

Mike Gesicki
Credit: Sun Sentinel
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).

Offensive Woes

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.

Hunter Long

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.

Durham Smythe

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.

Franchise Tag

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.

Extension

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.

Conclusion

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.

Miami Dolphins Stun Baltimore Ravens on TNF

Dolphins vs Ravens
Credit: Dolphins Wire

The Miami Dolphins stunned everyone with an upset win vs the Baltimore Ravens. Not only did Miami beat the Ravens, but they dominated most of the game. Even though it was a snooze fest of a game until the fourth quarter, Dolphin fans have a reason to be excited again. Here are some key takeaways from Miami’s stunning win vs the Ravens.

Defense Looks Dominant Again

Last night, the Dolphins defense looked like one of the best in the NFL. Holding one of the NFL’s best and hottest players in Lamar Jackson to just 277 all purpose yards. Not only that, but the Dolphins defense also had one interception, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery that went for a touchdown vs the Ravens.

Xavien Howard got the game going with a forced fumble that he recovered and took it 49 yards for a score. Justin Coleman had the same sealing interception in the end zone with less than a minute left in the game. But this was all thanks to Lamar being uncomfortable all night.

Jaelan Philips, Andrew Van Ginkle, Emmanuel Ogbah, Brandon Jones, and Jevon Holland were in Lamar’s face all game. Lamar was blitzed essentially all game and it turned out to work for Miami.

Tua Fills In and Delivers

For the second straight week Tua Tagovailoa was active even with his finger injury. But for the second straight week Tua was the active back-up. This was until the third quarter when Jacoby Brissett went down with a knee injury.

On the next drive Brissett tried to go back in and head coach Brian Flores waved him off and called Tua’s number. At first it was evident that his finger is really injured, killing any “benching” speculation.

That being said, as the game went on, Tua did look more comfortable and started to throw better. He had some throws that made you shake your head but it is clear that it was due to his finger. Postgame Tua clarified that his finger “does not feel good”. but he stayed strong and played through it.

Tua’s highlights from last night are his deep throw to Jaylen Waddle and Albert Wilson along with his one yard quarterback sneak to score a touchdown. With the extended week due to playing on Thursday night, hopefully Tua uses this time so he is 100% by the next game against the New York Jets.

Run Game and Offensive Line Leave Question Marks

Even though the Dolphins played their best game of the season vs the Ravens, there was still negatives. The run game still isn’t where it should be. Myles Gaskins was the only rusher with over 10 carries and averaged 2.2 yards per carry. That is including his long of 11 yards. No team in the NFL should be able to win like this consistently, so Miami needs to figure out their run game woes.

The offensive line for Miami also did not play their best. As I said above Tua only got in the game due to Brissett getting hurt. The Ravens only had four saves, but had a total of 13 quarterback hits.

The run game also looked horrendous part due to part of the offensive line. Liam Eichenberg allowed several pressures and was the one who allowed the sack that got Brissett hurt. It will be something to keep an eye on if Miami decides to switch up the offensive line during their long week.

Familiar Faces Return

Albert Wilson and Isaiah Ford were the lead receivers for the Dolphins last night. Both tied with a game high four catches and both led the Dolphins in receiving yards. Wilson had 87 yards compared to Ford’s 84.

The question of “where has Albert Wilson been?” finally got answered as Miami finally used him properly. Miami sent him on a wheel route on an RPO and gained 64 yards on his biggest play of the night. He also ran a number of screens where he flashed his ability to make people miss consistently. It will be interesting if Miami keeps using Wilson throughout the season or if this was a “gameplay” situation.

Ford also came through for Miami as he had a number of catches when Miami was in a hurry up offense. Besides not stepping out of bounds in an obvious situation, Ford was impressive. He showed that he can be Miami’s number three or even two receiver if need be.

Rookies Shine

Rookies Jevon Holland and Jaylen Waddle received public praise from the media and the Ravens players. While Jaelan Phillips had his best game to date. Holland was all over the field and broke up a deep ball that was intended for Marquise Brown early in the game.

In addition to that, Holland stuffed the stat sheet, with five tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, two pass deflections, and a quarterback hit, it seems Chris Grier made have drafted a budding star.

Jaylen Waddle was also a key contributor as he was on the receiving end of Tua’s clutch throw in the fourth quarter. Waddle had four catches for 61 yards and its clear that Miami is making an effort to use him properly. He also drew a ton of attention as the defense always made sure they knew where he was. Waddle as normal was also both Brissett’s and Tua’s security blanket.

Jaelan Phillips impressed fans last week with a great game, but this week he was even better. Even though he only had half a sack and one quarterback hit, he was always around the ball and in Lamar’s face all night. He made sure Lamar didn’t scramble all over Miami and chased him down whenever he tried too.

Looking Ahead

Overall the Dolphins performance vs the Ravens showed how good of a team they can be. Even with the offensive line and run game not being the best they still outplayed the Ravens. The play-calling wasn’t the best but we have defiantly seen worse this year.

Let’s hope Miami is able to carry this momentum through the season and show that they are better than their current record of 3-7 and potentially fight for a playoff spot.

Sam Eguavoen: Have a Day!

Credit: Jim Rassol, Palm Beach Post

Yesterday the Miami Dolphins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 37-17 in week two of preseason. The team overall looked like they are ready to be serious contenders this year. One player in particular had himself a day, and that player was Sam Eguavoen.

Stats

Eguavoen had a ridiculous stat line last night. He had 11 tackles and four sacks one of which was a safety. Even though it is still preseason, it is very rare a player has that big of an impact on a game. Last night, Eguavoen had more sacks than he does in his career so far (3.5). His 11 tackles is also a career high. Eguavoen did have a horrible pass interference call on him last night as well. He really did not have to commit the penalty as the ball was not close to the receiver but it seems like he panicked because his back was to the ball and the receiver was faster than him. Man coverage is not his strong suit and you saw that later on in the game as he dominated by blitzing and playing in the box.

Stock

Sam Eguavoen was never fighting for a roster spot as he has been a prominent special teams player and a serviceable back up since 2019. However, the former CFL player is showing that he is progressing each year and may fight for more playing time this year. Playing behind free agent signing Benardrick McKinney, Eguavoen seems to be learning from him and is becoming a better run defender. Head coach Brian Flores loves to blitz linebackers and Eguavoen showed that he may be the best blitzing linebacker on the team (aside from Jerome Baker). As I said above he did have the DPI called against him and the only negative Egauvoen had last night.

Outlook

I doubt that Eguavoen will have a repeat performance next week against the Bengals. That is no knock on him, but it is very rare that players have back to back career games. However, if he can show that he can continue to improve and make plays, Eguavoen may be the teams third linebacker after Baker and McKinney. Stopping the run has been something Flores wants to do since coming to Miami and Eguavoen may be a piece to the puzzle. While he won’t be a starter, we may seem him take more and more snap from McKinney or even replace Baker on run obvious situations.

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Miami Dolphins Training Camp Disappointments

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The offseason is a little over halfway done. This offseason has been extra important because this was the first real offseason for second year players. Throughout this offseason, the Dolphins as a whole have looked up and down. Some days the offense looks light years ahead of the defense and other days vise versa. Below are some Dolphins who have been disappointments. These Miami Dolphins disappointments are either having a very quiet offseason, or players who just haven’t lived up to our expectations this offseason.

Matt Skura

When Miami signed Skura in the offseason, fans immediately thought he would be the starting center. Although he was the starter week one in camp, shortly after he lost the job to Michael Deiter. Early on in camp there were reports of Skura having bad footwork. To many Dolphin fans this was disappointing to hear. Skura was the Ravens starting center for the past couple years and last season had a shaky year due to injuries. It seems like Skura is not going to be able to bounce back this season with Miami as Deiter seems to have locked up the starting spot.

Skura had early camp struggles

Lynn Bowden Jr.

Bowden had minimal impact in the first preseason game, but this was a nice catch in trafffic.

Bowden is a Miami fan favorite, which is why it hurts to say his camp has been disappointing. After trading for Bowden last season, he became one of Tua’s favorite targets later on. His ability to make people miss and create yards after the catch is what separated him from other Miami receivers. That being said, Bowden has been invisible this camp. During the early stages of camp, we heard nothing about Bowden besides a few bad plays. This made some people think that he was moving down the depth chart. Others thought that the Dolphins could just be hiding Bowden so teams just “forget” about him. In preseason Bowden has been visible so maybe Miami is just hiding him and have plans for him when the season starts.

Solomon Kindley

Last season Kindley was one of Miam’s starting offensive lineman. This offseason, Kindley started with the third team. This shocked a ton of people especially because Miami did not focus on guard in the draft or free agency. People speculated that Kindley was over weight or out of shape but nothing has been confirmed. Kindley did work his way back up to the starting lineup. During camp, Kindley has not been blown off the line and has not looked like himself. He has shown flashes but it seems like his starting spot is not guaranteed. His pass blocking has been a big question mark since last year and Kindley has not shown any improvement to that. As the year goes on Kindley’s play and whether he wil remain a starter will be something to look at.

Kindley started camp on the third team and eventually worked his way back up.

Noah Igbinoghene

Iggy’s best play of his career. Stays on the hip of the receiver during the route and gets the pass deflection.

It has been quite the roller coaster for the Miami Dolphins cornerback room this offseason. Xavien Howard held out of OTAs and eventually requested a trade and on top of that had an ankle injury early in camp. This allowed both Nik Needham and Iggy to replace X in the starting lineup. While Iggy has shown flashes in both camp and in the first preseason game, he still looks like a very raw prospect. When Iggy was drafted we all knew it would take time for him to adjust to the NFL, but so far it seems like it may take longer than expected. Needham has solidified himself as the now backup corner behind Byron Jones and X while Iggy is on the outside looking in. I am not saying that Iggy will not develop into a good player, it is just disappointing to see no huge improvements from one year to the next.

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Preseason Week 1: Miami Dolphins Takeaways

Credit: The Athletic

The first preseason game for the 2021 Miami Dolphins has concluded. This was our first look at the young roster and the team as a whole. There were some ups and downs throughout the game. Here we take a look at some Dolphins takeaways, good and bad, from each quarter.

First Quarter

The starters played all of the first quarter, which was interesting to see. Tua had a 50-yard bomb to Mike Gesicki and the defense picked up where they left off.

The Good

  • Tua looked impressive. He was aggressive and wasn’t scared to throw the ball into tight windows.
  • Malcolm Brown showed his toughness as he was hard to bring down.
  • Kick return team looks explosive. Grant took a majority of the returns but Waddle had one.
  • Man defense looks elite. Defensive backs were step and step with receivers.

The Bad

  • Austin Jackson looked bad. He was beat regularly in both the run and pass game. Jackson was also called for a holding penalty.
  • Zone defense needs some help. Receivers are finding the hole in the zone very easily and getting big chunks of yardage.
  • All backs showed lack of vision. The offensive line made some holes but the backs would not attack/ see them.
  • Tua held the ball for a long time. He seems indecisive or is taking a long time to read the field.

Second Quarter

The starters played the first drive for each side and then the second team took over. On his last pass of the day, Tua threw an interception in the end zone. Brissett also scored the first touchdown of the game with a pass to Salvon Ahmed.

The Good

  • Salvon Ahmed was a pleasant surprise. Ahmed showed off his receiving skills and was the most impressive back running the ball.
  • Pass blocking was impressive. Brissett had a ton of time in the pocket and even took off a few times.
  • Two-minute drill offense looked improved compared to last year.

The Bad

  • Run blocking is defiantly a concern for this season.
  • The pass rush was not getting to the quarterback at all. Justin Fields had all day in the pocket.
  • Receivers may not be creating as much separation as we hoped. Both Tua and Brissett held the ball for a long time.

Third Quarter

The second team started the quarter and played about half to two thirds of the quarter. This is when the young defense showed their age. The inexperienced defense bit on play action and looked lost at times.

The Good

  • The pass rush started to pick up. Lots of defensive lineman pushing the offensive line back.
  • Ahmed continued to impress. Showed his speed, vision, and patience.

The Bad

  • The defense was unable to contain Justin Fields. He was able to run all over them.
  • Pass blocking against blitzing defenders. Whenever the Bears blitzed, the offensive line looked lost.
  • The defense as a whole unit looked outplayed. Big jump in talent from second to first team.

Fourth Quarter

This quarter was mostly third string players. Reid Sinnett was the starting quarterback the whole quarter and we saw young players such as Gerrid Doaks, Malcolm Perry, and play as well.

The Good

  • Jordan Scarlett flashed a little as he was able to find holes.
  • The playmaking was nice. It was not too passive but also not too aggressive.

The Bad

  • Tackling. Throughout the game the Dolphins would not wrap up the ball carrier, which led to a ton of free yards.
  • The offensive line was still manhandled by the Bears defensive line. An underwhelming performance by all lines.

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