Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki on appealing for WR tag designation: 'I'm not really a big controversy guy'

When the Miami Dolphins used the franchise tag on Mike Gesicki, the immediate presumption was that the pass catcher would appeal to be designated a receiver rather than a tight end for tag purposes.

The franchise tag for receivers in 2022 is $18.419 million. The tight end tag is $10.931 million. The big chunk of change difference could motivate Gesicki to petition for the more lucrative designation. Given that he's known as a pass catcher who lined up in the slot on 402 snaps, out wide 218 and tight 140 times last season, he could have a case that he's closer to a receiver than a tight end.

On Wednesday, Gesicki was asked directly if he plans to appeal his designation. The 26-year-old didn't sound concerned with the situation.

"That's kind of up to -- obviously it's up to me, but more my agent and him kind of putting that out there," he said, per the team's transcript. "But as of now, I'm in here and I'm not really a big controversy guy. I'm not trying to be the guy that's the bad locker room guy or the guy that's bringing the organization down or the guy that's in the headlines for the wrong reasons. I'm just trying to, like I said, help this team in any way I can."

Gesicki pointed to his participation in voluntary offseason workouts to underscore that he holds no resentment for the Dolphins using the tag, whether TE or WR.

Coming off a career-high 780 yards receiving on 73 catches with two TDs, Gesicki isn't fretting the lack of a multi-year extension instead of playing on the franchise tag.

"I mean that's up to them, honestly," he said. "I have a good relationship with [general manager] Chris [Grier] and [executive] Brandon [Shore] and this new coaching staff obviously -- maybe that had something to do with it, I'm not sure. I don't really have all the answers. But I do know the kind of person that I am and the worker that I am and the player that I am, I'm just going to go back out there and continue to do what I do, continue to improve and make plays and help this team win football games and eventually get compensated for it."

The Dolphins and Gesicki have until July 15 to get a multi-year deal done. Traditionally, extensions for franchise-tagged players don't get done until closer to the deadline.

In new coach Mike McDaniel's offense, Gesicki should have a significant role alongside speedsters Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, taking advantage of single coverage, particularly by slower linebackers or smaller safeties. If a long-term deal isn't reached this offseason and he explodes in 2022, the future payday could be even bigger.

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