Patriots newcomer named team's best 'bounce-back' candidate for upcoming season

Oct 24, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (88) celebrates in
Oct 24, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (88) celebrates in / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Although many have described the Patriots' offseason additions as unexciting, there has been a lot of hype around Mike Gesicki's potential in the new offense in recent weeks.

The latest buzz around the tight end comes from a recent article published by Eagles Today via Sports Illustrated, which named Gesicki as one of the league's top prospects to have a bounce-back season in 2023.

His performance throughout last season is likely why the overall impression of Bill Belichick adding him to the roster after trading Jonnu Smith has not been noteworthy. The Dolphins have dealt with many changes and drama over the last few years, including coaching changes and a quarterback dilemma, which seemed to impact Gesicki's involvement in the offense.

The article written by Tim Kelly emphasizes this, while also noting the potential immediate impact Gesicki could have in a Bill O'Brien-led offense.

"The Miami Dolphins offense took off under new coach Mike McDaniel, but Gesicki didn't turn out to be a fit for the system. He latched on with the division-rival Patriots this offseason, signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal. While the Patriots also have Hunter Henry at tight end, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien doesn't have a ton to work with at the wide receiver position. So Gesicki -- who had 700-plus receiving yards in both 2020 and 2021 -- should have plenty of opportunities to jump out as one of the better pass catchers at the tight end position. "

His statistics during his five years spent with the Dolphins are not eye-popping by any means, but Gesicki has established himself as one of the more well-known tight ends in the league. And it was just two seasons ago when he appeared on his way to becoming a prominent fixture in Miami's offense and at the position in the NFL.

But Mike McDaniel's offense did not involve him much after they acquired Tyreek Hill to pair with Jaylen Waddle. It's an offense that doesn't utilize a tight end as a receiver, and since Gesicki is not an elite blocker, his time on the field dwindled.

From 2018 to 2022, however, he totaled 231 receptions for 2,617 yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 11.3 yards per catch. During that time, he only missed one game in 2020, which will be a significant plus, with Hunter Henry having dealt with several injuries throughout his career.

Gesicki's future with the Patriots seems bright as the number two guy behind Henry. His presence in the red zone will be essential for the new offense, and he provides Mac Jones with another reliable and deep-threat option to open up the field.

It certainly seems plausible to consider Gesicki as a frontrunner to have a bounce-back season, especially with a new team and a fresh start. Of course, he will have a lot of expectations to live up to, but who better to work with than Belichick and O'Brien?