Out with the old, in with the new.
The New England Patriots are signing free-agent tight end Mike Gesicki to a one-year contract worth up to $ 9 million, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Field Yates reported Friday.
The signing comes days after New England traded tight end Jonnu Smith to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2023 seventh-round pick. The Patriots also signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency this week after watching Jakobi Meyers leave for the Las Vegas Raiders, so they essentially swapped Meyers and Smith with Smith-Schuster and Gesicki.
Patriots Talk: JuJu Smith-Schuster in, Jakobi Meyers out. Have Patriots improved? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
Gesicki is a nice pickup for New England: The 27-year-old set career highs in receptions (73) and receiving yards (780) during a breakout 2021 campaign and caught five touchdown passes in 2022 despite taking a backseat to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in the Dolphins' offense.
Gesicki also has a connection with new Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who never coached Gesicki directly but recruited the tight end to Penn State while he was head coach there.
O'Brien now has two quality tight ends to work with in Gesicki and Hunter Henry, and that duo combined with Smith-Schuster should give quarterback Mac Jones some skilled pass-catchers to work with in the red zone.