Is there any fire behind the Mike Gesicki-to-Patriots smoke?

Mike Gesicki

New England Patriots fans desperately want to see their team add more offensive firepower. So, any news linking a free-agent pass-catcher to New England is good news.

That includes the social media scuttlebutt that emerged Wednesday night after folks noticed that former Miami Dolphins tight end and current free agent Mike Gesicki recently followed the Patriots on Twitter. Not only that, but Patriots quarterback Mac Jones appears to be following Gesicki on Instagram, as well.

So, Gesicki to New England, right? Not quite. Players follow other players (and teams) all the time on social media, and Gesicki is particularly active on Twitter. In fact, the 27-year-old drew more attention from Cincinnati Bengals fans Thursday with his response to cornerback Mike Hilton's recruiting pitch.

Gesicki clearly hasn't made his free-agent decision yet, and he should have plenty of suitors: He's an athletic offensive weapon who caught 73 passes for 730 yards in 2021 before taking a back seat to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in 2022 (32 receptions 362 yards, five touchdowns).

While there's no actual reporting linking the Patriots to Gesicki, it makes sense why they'd have interest. After trading Jonnu Smith to the Atlanta Falcons, New England has just one starting-caliber tight end on its roster (Hunter Henry) with Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington as backups.


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New Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien found success in 2011 leading an offense that featured the 1-2 punch of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, so perhaps he'd have interest in pairing Gesicki with Henry. And perhaps Gesicki would be intrigued about working with a tight end-friendly OC in O'Brien.

"I’d love to go to a scheme that’s willing to utilize me and my talents to the best of my ability," Gesicki told former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel earlier this month. "I like to move around in the offense. I can play in the slot, play outside, be attached to the line and attack the middle of the field. Obviously, third-down, red-zone stuff, when I’m matched up against a favorable matchup.

" ... Just getting some opportunities like that would be great and getting back to doing what I’ve always been able to do is just make plays and force defenses to kind of show their hand and what they’re doing and who’s covering who; just make it easier on everybody else."

Gesicki made $ 10.9 million last season, so he'd be a significant investment. But a tight end duo of Henry and Gesicki with JuJu Smith-Schuster as the No. 1 wideout could go a long way in making the Patriots' offense more dynamic in 2023.