3 former Dolphins players who failed with their new team in 2023

Miami probably doesn't regret letting these guys walk last year.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Rich Barnes/GettyImages
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Every year, NFL free agency goes the same way: big contracts are handed out, almost all of which will eventually be voided, or at the very least, regretted. There's plenty of value to be found in free agency, but most of that exists in the 2nd or 3rd waves. The 1st wave primarily exists for players to cash in on previous production (and rightfully so) while one or two teams kinda fixes their quarterback situation. It's not a window to rebuild your team as much as it is one to tinker with it.

And frankly, half the free agent battle doesn't even have to do with bringing in new players. Half the battle is deciding which of your team's current group is worth bringing back, and which ones have developed markets that aren't realistic with their production. Teams that can accurately – and consistently – predict how their free agents are going to produce over the following two or three seasons have a real leg up in the league, and avoiding those handful of brutal contracts can make all the difference when the time comes to make a Super Bowl Contender-type move.

For Miami, these are the three guys that they're probably glad they let walk after the 2023 season.

1. Mike Gesicki, TE, New England Patriots

Gesicki's always been a passing game tight end: he quite literally doesn't even have a single grade for run-blocking on PFF. That was always going to limit his value, even though Gesicki does what he does well. His reliability was a big reason for success in Miami – in all five seasons he played with the Dolphins, Gesicki appeared in at least 15 games, and hasn't missed a game in three seasons. He was a major part of the Dolphins' passing offense in 2020 and 2021, and set a career-high in targets (112), receptions (73), receiving yards (780) in the latter.

He ended his Dolphins' tenure with a disappointing season that saw all his stats regress to some career-worsts, and ended up signing a one-year deal with the Patriots after the season ended.

And then, in New England, the regression continued. Despite starting a career-high 10 games for the Patriots, Gesicki only had 244 receiving yards – the worst number since his rookie season. It was difficult for anyone to produce in a Patriots' offense that was one of the league's worst, but 2023 was the 3rd straight season that Gesicki's numbers declined. At 29, he may have a bounce back season or two left in the tank, but the Dolphins' decision to move on when they did is only aging better with time.