Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki to play 2022 on franchise tag with no deal reached by deadline – The Denver Post


It was expected. Now, it’s official.

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki will play the 2022 season on the franchise tag as he and the team did not reach terms on a long-term contract by Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline for tagged players.

The franchise tag gives Gesicki another season in Miami before he again heads into free agency in 2023. The tag holds different values for different positions, and at tight end, Gesicki will be due $10.9 million in 2022.

While it’s a hefty payday, considering he has earned $6.8 million over his first four NFL seasons, it’s not the long-term extension that NFL players ideally seek as they become established veterans in the league.

“You’re obviously getting an increase in financial purposes and all that kind of stuff,” Gesicki said earlier in the offseason. “It’s obviously not the goal, the end-all, be-all goal. It’s definitely more team-friendly than it is player-friendly. But just giving me more reasons to come back here, continue to work hard and continue to be motivated and get back to work and help this team win football games and hopefully eventually get what I deserve moving forward.”

Other tagged players around the NFL that did not reach terms on an extension — like Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates and Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown — will reportedly debate whether to report to training camp and play on the franchise tag in the coming weeks. For Gesicki, there is no such drama over playing on the tag.

“I’m definitely playing,” Gesicki said previously. “I’m here in [organized team activities]. This is obviously optional, so here I am. … I want to do whatever I can to help this team win football games.

“I’m not really a big controversy guy. I’m not trying to be the guy that’s the bad locker-room guy, or the guy that’s bringing the organization down or the guy that’s in the headlines for the wrong reasons.”

Gesicki is tagged with the tight end designation despite the fact that he lined up as a wide receiver either in the slot or on the boundary more than he has as an in-line tight end. The franchise tag value for a receiver is $18.4 million, a difference of $7.5 million from the tight end tag.

Gesicki, a 2018 second-round pick out of Penn State, is coming off career highs of 73 receptions and 780 receiving yards in 2021. His pass-catching prowess as a rangy 6-foot-6 target is unquestioned, but his blocking ability has always left much to be desired.

That aspect of the position could play a bigger factor in new coach Mike McDaniel’s wide-zone rushing scheme, where blocking from the tight end could prove pivotal. Gesicki’s snap counts have not been as high as they can be because of how one-dimensional he is, and he only started nine of his 17 games played in 2021.

The Dolphins report to training camp on July 26.



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