Mike Gesicki won't be making it to free agency.
The Miami Dolphins are placing the franchise tag on Gesicki, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday. The team later confirmed the move.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Monday that it was expected the Dolphins would use the tag on Gesicki despite there having been no talks between the parties in regard to a long-term deal.
Should Miami and Gesicki work out an extension, it would have to be done by the July 15 deadline. If Gesicki plays the upcoming season on the tag, he'll make $10.931 million, which is likely considerably less than he would've commanded on the open market.
Gesicki is the first Dolphins player to be tagged since wide receiver Jarvis Landry in 2018.
The 26-year-old tight end has emerged as one of the top offensive weapons at his position through his first four seasons in the NFL. A second-round pick by Miami in the 2018 NFL Draft, Gesicki turned in 73 receptions and 780 receiving yards in 2021, each of them career highs. Per Next Gen Stats, he tied with Kyle Pitts for the most snaps aligned wide among TEs (2018). Over the past two seasons, Gesicki leads all tight ends in catches (25), receiving yards (328) and receiving touchdowns (5) on tight-window targets.
Though he's an established option as a pass catcher, Gesicki's blocking (36.6 pass-blocking grade per Pro Football Focus, 46.1 run-blocking grade in 2021) has always been a negative in his overall game. How that works in rookie head coach Mike McDaniel's offense remains to be seen.
But with Tuesday's news, we'll see how it all plays out in 2022, at the least.