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Instant analysis after Bengals agree to sign FA TE Mike Gesicki

After finding a new running back with Zack Moss, the Cincinnati Bengals earn more high marks by agreeing to sign free-agent tight end Mike Gesicki.

For Gesicki, it’s a reported one-year deal worth just $3.25 million, which immediately qualifies it as a nice bargain deal that gives Joe Burrow a 6’6″ target who can line up in multiple spots.

And that’s the key takeaway and win for the Bengals right away — Gesicki makes them more versatile, not less. He’s spent a large chunk of his career effectively as a (large) wideout, so he can line up in the slot or inline, which is especially important now that the offense is likely to lose Tyler Boyd.

Cincinnati becomes tougher to prep for and defend as a result. Burrow and Co. want more under-center looks that are tough to figure out next year and Gesicki helps with that. Even very situationally — like in the redzone — the offense becomes much more dangerous because defenses could have to defend Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Gesicki and Andrei Iosivas all at once.

Even in base formations, the threat of Gesicki over the middle is a big problem for defenses while also trying to account for Chase and Higgins on the outside.

Gesicki is also a strong complement to Drew Sample, who just returned on a new deal of his own and will resume that strong blocking role the offense needs to keep those under-center looks strong.

Unlike Irv Smith Jr. last year, which flopped, Gesicki isn’t much of a gamble at all. And he’s better than reunion candidates like C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst, too. Maybe he turns one year into a massive extension elsewhere like those guys, but the Bengals won’t complain about the contention chances and hope that Burrow stays healthy in exchange.

And to top it all off, Gesicki doesn’t stop the Bengals from adding at least one more tight end through the draft or bringing back Tanner Hudson, too, perhaps as early as Round 1.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire