Changing Mike Gesicki to receiver could cost Dolphins off-season – The Mercury News

Mike Gesicki has earned the last laugh.

It’s been a long journey for the Miami Dolphins’ 2018 second-round pick, a Penn State product that transformed himself from a disappointing rookie contributor to one of the team’s top playmates over the past two seasons.

Gesicki addressed his early struggles, saying, “When I first came here in 2018, a lot of people were excited for the day that I was no longer here, so it was an interesting experience during my rookie year. ” When he caught 22 passes for 202 yards in his 400 snaps.

But it was not the pass catcher that was problematic. It was his blockade, which was a disaster. And if we’re going to be honest, it hasn’t improved much.

The dolphins stopped asking him to do what he did, and started playing to their strengths.

Each season Gesicki improves on some area of ​​his game, and this has helped him become a marquee player for the Dolphins, a talent a must-have game plan for opposing coaches.

“I’m better than my first snap [by] To be able to get out of press coverage, to be physical in root running, to be able to fight through second-level releases and contact,” said Gassicki, who was in Sunday’s game in reception (71) and receiving yard (758). Enters with a career high standard.

He is second in the team in both the categories.

Although he hasn’t evolved into an all-purpose tight end—one who can help the team at every stage of the game, especially working on the line of scrimmage as a run or pass blocker—Gesicki is a A chess piece that acts as a defensive coordinator to solve the puzzle of opposing sides, due to their different roles.

Sometimes he is in motion.

Some pictures of him are in the backfield.

Despite his blocking struggles, he can be on the line of scuffle from time to time.

But in the last two seasons he has spent most of his snaps on boundaries or in slots, running roots receivers.

“It takes a little creativity and a special player to get to the open versus zone and find special spots in the zone,” Gesicki said. “But when you can win versus man coverage, whether it’s a corner or a safety, and I don’t really see linebackers, when you can win a corner or a safety, or a nickel versus an open, in those circumstances. can win in those important down, [you’re effective],

Geskey’s versatility could create some off-season drama for the Dolphins when it comes to free agency this coming season, because of the role he’s played over the past two years.

The hand of a tight end is usually on the ground, three feet or less from the tackle. And if used as a flex weapon, he stands within six feet of tackle.

Gasicki has spent 91 of his 789 snaps on the line this season. They cost 438 snaps as a slot receiver, and the range is lined up wide at 237 snaps.

Last season he spent 122 of his 623 snaps in-line, which is 11 snaps shy of how much he spent on boundaries as a receiver. He spent 365 photos as Miami’s slot weapon.

This means that they have mostly acted as receivers.

As a result, if the Dolphins place the franchise tag on Gassie, he may file a complaint appealing to the NFL that he is entitled to the receiver and not the tight end designation.

While this is semantic from a positional standpoint, there is a $7.5 million difference in paychecks, with the franchise tag for tight ends estimated to be around $11 million while the receiver designation is $18.5 million.

Where the photographs are taken usually determines how the moderators govern.

Now, all of this can be avoided if the Dolphins franchise strikes a deal before March 8, the last day to use the tag, or use the tag on defensive end Emmanuel Ogba, which I’m sure is subject to serious consideration. Is.

But the bottom line is that Gesiki could be hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent in the coming weeks.

The Patriots leveled the market for that position last season with the signing of Hunter Henry and Joanu Smith, who are each earning $12.5 million a season. Baltimore’s Mark Andrew ($14 million) and Philadelphia tight end Dallas Goedart ($14.25 million) jumped on him with new deals received this season.

The Dolphins have $74 million in cap space, the most in the NFL, but that money can quickly go to meet the team’s other needs, especially if a trade for Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson is still ongoing. .

But Gesicki has no worries about his next deal, though he should now that he’s a game away from reaching healthy free agency.

“If you go out there and you pretend and you do what you’re asked, you get what you deserve. I think you deserve what you deserve in this league , ”Gesicki said when asked about the blossoming wages for the tight end. “That’s what those guys have got, and I am happy for them. And their success, and their bank accounts.”

If things go as expected, Geskey will soon laugh with joy about what’s in his bank account.