The Baltimore Ravens already have arguably the best tight end in the NFL in Mark Andrews. They also have a promising rookie in Isaiah Likely who looks primed to play a big role in their offense this season.
On paper, there isn’t really any room for another tight end, let alone one making nearly $11 million in 2022. But the Ravens rarely, if ever, abide by the laws of football logic, for better or worse.
While it’s far from a guarantee that he gets moved, the organization is at least exploring the possibility. Perhaps the Ravens could shock the NFL and come calling.
Why a Mike Gesicki trade makes some sense for the Ravens
To properly evaluate this situation, we need to first strip Gesicki of his position label. He’s a “tight end” in name only. In reality, he’s an offensive weapon that could be deployed in any NFL offense if properly used.
Gesicki played just 99 of his 828 offensive snaps last season as an in-line tight end, a figure that roughly equates to 11 percent. On the contrary, more than half (453) of his snaps were in the slot while 252 of them were out wide.
The Dolphins didn’t use him as a tight end last season. In new head coach Mike McDaniel’s scheme, Miami wants their tight ends to play an in-line role. Gesicki just isn’t a good fit for what McDaniel is looking for.
The Ravens typically want their tight ends to be able to block as well, but they’ve shown that they’re more than willing to bend the rules for the right talent.
Just look at Mark Andrews. Andrews plays just 30 percent of his snaps last season as an in-line tight end. A whopping 67 percent of his snaps were either in the slot or split out wide.
That’s likely the role the Ravens envision for Isaiah Likely as well this season. With an unproven wide receiver corps, it would make sense for the Ravens to lean on their tight ends.
That’s where Gesicki comes into play. Right now, it’s hard to gauge who the Ravens’ third receiving option is behind Andrews and Rashod Bateman. Is it already Likely? Is it someone like Devin Duvernay?
The Ravens could use more firepower on their offense and Gesicki would be a heck of an addition to make in late August. The tricky part comes with the financial aspect of it.
Gesicki is playing on the franchise tag in 2022 and is set to be a free agent at the end of the season. That’s a large chunk of salary for the Ravens to take on this season and they would likely have to do some monetary finagling to make it work.
On top of that, any Gesicki trade would coincide with an extension. However, that would likely work in the Ravens’ favor as it could not only decrease his 2022 cap hit, but it would also likely lower his overall trade value.
The Ravens wouldn’t have to surrender major assets to acquire Gesicki. The Dolphins seem likely to let him walk at the end of the season anyway, further reducing their leverage.
Don’t think of Mike Gesicki, Mark Andrews, and even Isaiah Likely as tight ends. Think of them as receiving options in a Ravens’ offense that could use another target for Lamar Jackson.
With that mindset, a Gesicki trade is absolutely worth exploring.