5 things to know about new Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki


He could give the Patriots something they’ve been missing.

Tight end Mike Gesicki celebrates after scoring a touchdown. Matt Durisko/AP Photo

The Patriots bolstered their tight spot by signing 6-foot-6, 247-pound red-zone threat Mike Gesicki to a one-year deal worth up to $9 million.

Gesicki, who spent his entire five-year career with the Miami Dolphins, joins Hunter Henry and effectively replaces the recently deceased Jonnu Smith.

Here are five things to know about Gesicki:

He was a three-sport star in high school.

Gesicki, 27, doesn’t have any specific New England ties, but he’s a guy from the North East.

He grew up in Stafford Township, New Jersey, played Southern Regional High and became a three-star recruit while playing basketball and volleyball.

Not only could he dunk easily — Vince Carter is his all-time favorite athlete — he also won a state championship and was volleyball player of the year.

Gesicki set the record for most receptions by a tight end in Penn State history, then the Dolphins selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, with the 42nd overall pick.

He grew up as a Giants fan.

Sorry, Patriots fans, but Gesicki grew up with the New York Giants and spent the time of his life watching them stun the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

“I was running around my house losing my mind,” he tweeted recently.

He did damage against the Patriots.

Gesicki scored the game-winning touchdown against the Patriots with 24 seconds left in 2019, when the 5-11 Dolphins rallied for a 27-24 victory.

The capture cost the Patriots a bye (12-4) and put them through on their first playoff opening weekend since 2009.

This also turned out to be Tom Brady’s last regular season game in New England, and the Patriots went on to lose to the Titans in the playoffs. Thus, Gesicki played a small but somewhat significant role in the end of the Patriot dynasty.

He has 14 catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns in nine games against New England.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick described him as someone who is hard to cover, has very good hands and has enough speed to split.

“He’s got really good receiving skills,” Belichick said. “He’s really, I would say, more of a big receiver than a real tight end.”

He could give the Patriots something they’ve been missing.

Gesicki, Henry and wide receiver DeVante Parker should have a chance to thrive in tandem in the red zone.

In theory, most teams will have no choice but to put a smaller defender on at least one of them, which could create mismatch issues.

New England has scored touchdowns on just 42.2% of its red-zone trips in 2022 – the worst percentage in the NFL. That came after a 63% mark in 2021.

As The Boston Globe‘s noted Jim McBride, new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is a fan of the 12-member looks with two tight ends. O’Brien recruited Gesicki when he was in high school, so there’s a familiarity between the two.

Gesicki has caught five or more touchdown passes in three of the past four seasons — including this year when Miami had a stacked receiving corps.

“Good hands and an instinctive receiver who knows how to open up and can make good catches in tight coverage with his length and his hands,” Belichick said.

It helps children with cancer.

Gesicki is involved with THON, an organization that helps improve the lives of children and families affected by childhood cancer.

While at Penn State, he hung out with a young fan named Landon and brightened his day.

It has sold at used auctions, Penn State and TUNA Crampons and donated 100% of the profits to the organization.

Gesicki also collaborated with Baptist Health to surprise nurse Nicole Jarett with a $2,500 gift card during the height of the pandemic.

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