The New England Patriots enter the 2023 season as one of the more interesting teams in football. After making the playoffs in 2021, the Patriots took a step back in the loaded AFC East last season going 8-9 and missing the postseason. Now, with quarterback Mac Jones on the clock, the Patriots will have their work cut out for them this year.
Patriots starting tight end: Hunter Henry
Henry enters the final year of his three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Patriots, and is coming off his worst season with the team (509 yards receiving and two touchdowns). In 2021, Henry had his best pro season, tallying 603 yards receiving and nine touchdowns, a product of his strong play in the red zone. That said, the Patriots have an actual offensive coordinator this season (Bill O’Brien), so Henry should be primed for a bigger season -- if he’s able to keep his hold on the team’s top tight end spot, that is.
Who is Henry’s backup on the Patriots TE depth chart?
The Patriots signed former Miami Dolphin Mike Gesicki to a one-year, $9 million contract. Gesicki is incredibly athletic tight end (he tallied back-to-back 700 yard receiving seasons in 2020 and ‘21), but only had 362 yards receiving last season in a Dolphins offense that de-emphasized tight ends. Gesicki is worth keeping an eye on as a depth piece, especially if he ends up being used more like a wideout than tight end in the Patriots’ offense.
After Henry and Gesicki, the Patriots’ tight end depth consists of Anthony Firsker (who has recorded 1,200 career receiving yards with the Titans and Falcons) and Matt Sokol, who has appeared in two career games.