Patriots Sign Versatile AFC East Rival: ‘Hard Guy to Cover’

New England Patriots

Getty The New England Patriots have signed Mike Gesicki.

It didn’t take long for the New England Patriots to find their replacement for Jonnu Smith and they were able to poach a tight end from a division rival.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to report on March 17 that New England had signed former Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki.

Gesicki has played in 81 games since being drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The tight end has racked up 231 receptions for 2,617 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career, per Pro Football Reference.

The 2018 draft pick had his best season in 2021. Gesicki tallied 73 receptions for 780 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Is a Big Fan of Mike Gesicki

It isn’t too surprising to see Gesicki land in New England. With Bill O’Brien taking over the offense in New England, the Patriots could return to the days of old where they utilized two tight ends in the passing game.

Bill Belichick has also publicly praised Gesicki for his ability as a pass catcher.

“He’s a hard guy to cover,” Belichick said of Gesicki in December. “Long. He’s a good, crafty route-runner. He’s slick. He can get down the field. Very good hands, can make some acrobatic catches and has enough quickness to separate. He’s another hard guy to cover on third down — well, on any down, but when you talk about those possession downs, he’s effective.”

That isn’t the only time that Belichick has talked about Gesicki. He also praised the pass catcher back in 2020.

“Gesicki, he’s a big receiver,” Belichick said. “I mean, he’s not really a conventional tight end, but he’s a tough matchup in the passing game.”

Even other coaches seem to like the move that the Patriots made by acquiring Gesicki. Mike Giardi of the NFL Network spoke to an AFC defensive coordinator about New England’s move.

“He’s not a true TE,” the defensive coordinator told Giardi. “Essentially a slot though you can test a defense formationally and create mismatches on smaller backers & DBs.” Pointed out how the Pats would line up Gronk wide. “Could see that. Would make sense.”

Ex-Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers Apologizes for ‘Childish’ Tweet

When the Patriots announced they had signed JuJu Smith-Schuster, Meyers tweeted “Cold World lol.”

In his introductory press conference with the Las Vegas Raiders, Meyers touched on his tweet calling it “childish.”

“Nah, not for real,” Meyers told reporters when asked if he had any animosity toward New England. “I just like messing with people, honestly. I just like to get under people’s skin. But no, honestly I appreciate them for everything that I’ve been through there. I never really got to say — well, I did get to say goodbye, but I never really got to tell them ‘bye’ as I was leaving the building.

“(The tweet) was just me being childish, for real. I love them, but I’m also happy to be here,” Meyers added.

The wide receiver also posted a thank you to Patriots fans on his Instagram after the tweet.

“These last 4 years in New England have been the best years of my life,” Meyers wrote. “I can’t thank Coach Belichick and the entire staff enough for taking a chance on an undrafted free agent and developing me into the player and person I am today. Thank you to all the fans who supported me on this journey. I strive to be an inspiration to all the young kids watching every Sunday. It was nothing but love from day 1 and I will always be thankful for that.”

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