7 free agents the Carolina Panthers must aggressively pursue in 2023

(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via IMAGN Content Services) DeMarcus Walker
(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via IMAGN Content Services) DeMarcus Walker /
3 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Gesicki /

Carolina Panthers must pursue Mike Gesicki

  • Tight End | Miami Dolphins

While Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble are solid blockers at the tight end spot, they haven’t offered nearly enough from a pass-catching standpoint. And there is a big enough sample size to suggest this area of play needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Considering the need for any rookie via the NFL Draft to blend in and integrate, acquiring a veteran represents the best chance to improve quickly. It could also smooth the transition of a college quarterback if the Carolina Panthers go down this route as anticipated.

This year’s free-agent class is loaded with top tight-end talent. After playing on the franchise tag in 2022, Mike Gesicki could be among the most coveted if the Miami Dolphins don’t give him an extension.

Gesicki’s route-running, soft hands, and ability to create separation are renowned assets. Something the Panthers haven’t had at the tight end position since Greg Olsen left for the Seattle Seahawks in 2020 free agency.

The former Penn State star had a down year statistically with just 362 receiving yards and five touchdowns. But much of this can be attributed to Tyreek Hill’s arrival and the constant concussion issues suffered by starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

If the Panthers get a chance to acquire Gesicki, they shouldn’t hesitate.