Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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6 2 J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M F ormer Penn State tight end Mike Ge- sicki was a little bit busy when he re- ceived the news. Gesicki had just married his fiancée, Halle, and the two were off celebrating their honeymoon in Bora Bora, a pictur- esque Pacific island in French Polynesia. Thousands of miles away in Miami, the Dolphins elected to place the franchise tag on Gesicki, a move that will keep the explosive receiving tight end in South Florida for another season. "It was 3 a.m., my agent texted me," Gesicki told the Miami media. "He's like, 'Hey, they're tagging you.' I rolled over in the middle of the night, checked my phone, I got a text from my agent and I was like, OK. I also had like 100 other texts because I slept through it. It was like 4 a.m., 3 a.m. Bora Bora time. … Woke up Halle, she was all excited, and went back to sleep." Gesicki described his offseason as a "crazy" one. His focus was directed away from football as he finalized the details of his wedding, and the NFL offseason rumor mill was in constant churn. Crucially, he played his cards right with his now-wife. "I made sure that Halle knew that I was focused on the wedding and the honey- moon," he said. "I wasn't even worried about the contract. It was awesome. It was great. It was everything that I could have imagined." As the calendar turns to May and the NFL season looms closer, football is once again at the forefront for Gesicki. He finished eighth among NFL tight ends with 780 receiving yards in 17 con- tests last year, placing himself in a tier with the likes of Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Goed- ert of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his four pro seasons, Gesicki has accumulated 2,255 yards through the air and scored 13 touchdowns. With that production as a backdrop, one could have forgiven Gesicki for eye- ing a big-money, long-term contract, rather than the $10.9 million he'll receive over one year thanks to the franchise tag. Still, Gesicki insists he's content. "I don't think anybody across the league would be mad about a situation where you get to come back, and you're obviously getting an increase for finan- cial purposes and all that kind of stuff," he said. "It's obviously not the goal, the end- all-be-all goal. It's definitely more team- friendly than it is player-friendly. But it's just giving me more reasons to come back here, continue to work hard, and continue to be motivated and get back to work and help this team win football Gesicki, who was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, returned to his alma mater last month for the Blue-White Game. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL For Mike Gesicki, A 'Crazy' But Contented Offseason DAV I D E C K E RT | DAV I D E C K E R T 9 8 @ G M A I L . C O M PSU IN THE PROS

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