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Of all the concerns with the Miami Dolphins’ passing game in 2020, the one area that seemed to prompt the fewest questions was the tight end position. Thanks to a career year from Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki (career highs in receptions, yardage and touchdowns), the Dolphins saw the most productive tight end group in the history of the franchise — with the room combining to account for 91 receptions for 1,061 yards and 11 scores.
And what did the Dolphins proceed to do this offseason?
Add two more tight ends, of course. The team picked up Cethan Carter in free agency and then drafted Hunter Long in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL draft. Those additions, on top of the slew of new faces at the wide receiver position, have Gesicki’s status as a top target in question. What we should expect this upcoming season from Gesicki, specifically, is one of the more fascinating storylines of the summer.
Here are a handful of projected stat lines for Mike Gesicki’s 2021 season courtesy of a number of the most popular fantasy services:
Mike Gesicki – 102 targets, 67.3 receptions, 823 receiving yards, 5.3 receiving touchdowns
Mike Gesicki – 83 targets, 52 receptions, 614 receiving yards, 11.7 yards per reception, 5 receiving touchdowns
Mike Gesicki – 91 targets, 54 receptions, 616 receiving yards, 11.4 yards per reception, 6 receiving touchdowns
It would seem as though both ESPN and CBS Sports believe Gesicki has hit the glass ceiling on his production in 2020 and that the new cast of characters surrounding him in the passing offense in 2021 will yield less production in a contract year. But to be fair, all three services project Gesicki to be right in line with his career high in receptions and close to equalling his career high in receiving touchdowns (6, set in 2020).
Yahoo!’s forecast is undeterred by the new receivers; perhaps basing some of their projection on the preexisting chemistry with Tagovailoa and an undeniable upward curve in Gesicki’s development. Additionally, contract years are often extra motivation for a big season — and a 823 yard performance from Gesicki in 2021 will certainly ensure a big second deal in Miami or elsewhere.