The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could make a trade deadline move for an “impact player.”
According to The Athletic’s Greg Auman, the Buccaneers could be in the market for a tight end. As noted by Auman, the “brass ring” of the tight end options would be the Miami Dolphins’ Mike Gesicki. The Dolphins are willing to listen to trade offers for their former starting tight end, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
“The brass ring would be Miami’s Mike Gesicki, who’s playing on the franchise tag and unlikely to re-sign long-term with the Dolphins,” says Auman. “He’s the best tight end available, and perhaps the one most likely to help the Bucs’ red-zone scoring woes. That said, he’s also likely to cost more than the Bucs are willing to part with, and adding him would be at the expense of Otton’s ongoing development.”
Gesicki Not Considered a Good Fit in Dolphins’ Offense
Considering Gesicki’s odd fit in Mike McDaniels’ offense due to his lack of blocking ability — he’s playing just 54 percent of the offensive snaps this season compared to the 72 percent he played last season — it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him unloaded at the trade deadline on Nov. 1.
Despite his decline in playing time, Gesicki remains a viable receiving option. The 27-year-old has caught 18 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. The five-year veteran has done this despite starting just one game through seven appearances.
Gesicki is averaging a respectable 1.17 yards per route run this season. By comparison, Cade Otton — who is now serving as Tampa Bay’s starting tight end with Cameron Brate’s injury — is averaging 1.08 yards per route run. Meanwhile, Brate is averaging just 0.88 yards per route this season.
In other words, Gesicki would immediately step in an become the Buccaneers’ top option at tight end.
Why Bucs May Hesitate on Potential Gesicki Move
However, as Auman notes, the move for Gesicki could stunt Otton’s development. The Buccaneers can prevent that from happening by keeping the rookie as the starting tight end and using Gesicki mainly in a slot receiver role.
Gesicki has lined up in the slot 57 percent of the time this season and 60.3 percent of the time during his career. In other words, he’s essentially a wide receiver listed as a tight end.
The question is, would Tampa Bay be willing to part with key draft capital for Gesicki?
It’s something the Buccaneers should seriously consider when factoring in their lack of health at wide receiver. Julio Jones has been limited to just two games this season due to a knee injury and Russell Gage will miss the team’s Week 8 matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens due to a hamstring injury.
With Cole Beasley retiring, Tampa Bay clearly has a desire to add another receiving weapon for Tom Brady in what is potentially his last season. Adding Gesicki would give the Buccaneers a player as close to Rob Gronkowski’s mold as they could possibly find — 6-foot-6, 247 pounds — while beefing up their receiving corps.
It’s all a matter of “if” the Buccaneers are actually willing to give up assets at the trade deadline.