New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski mulled retirement this offseason as a transparent attempt for a pay raise and it seems likely that he will get what he wants. The All Pro tight end received a pay raise last year and, according to the Herald’s Karen Guregian, Gronk is working with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to seal the deal for the second-straight year.
“After Belichick’s recent get-together with Rob Gronkowski and agent Drew Rosenhaus, we’re told the sides are continuing to work on tweaking Gronk’s deal in some fashion,” Guregian reported.”
The Patriots and Gronkowski reached their previously restructured deal on May 23rd 2017, when the team gave the tight end the opportunity to reach an additional $5.5 million in incentives. Gronkowski collected the maximum total in 2017.
Gronkowski is scheduled to make $4 million more in 2018 than he was prior to his restructured deal in 2017, plus an additional $250,000 in game-day bonuses- but if these tactics worked in 2017 (and daps to Gronk for making it happen), why not try them again?
The big difference for the tight end is that he’s currently scheduled to make $8.9 million in cash for 2018, the fourth-most at his position, behind two players that signed new deals and a third that converted his base salary into a signing bonus- a relative fortunate compared that to the $5 million he was slated to earn in 2017 ahead of his restructure.
Still, there’s a very easy argument for Gronkowski to make that he deserves the opportunity to earn top dollar for all offensive skill players- wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends.
I could see Gronkowski’s new contract going in a few directions.
He could follow a similar path as last year and receive additional cash through playing incentives; a First Team All Pro incentive, 1,000-yard incentive, and 10-touchdown incentive would all be smart investments by the team.
Gronkowski and the Patriots could also restructure his contract and convert his $8 million in base salary to a signing bonus in order to put guaranteed money in his pocket.
Belichick and the Patriots could also copy Patrick Chung’s restructure and tack on a year to the end of Gronkowski’s contract in exchange for increasing his current cash flow.
And then there’s a chance the Patriots and Gronkowski could reach an extension that combines all of these options.
Guregian alludes to the idea that Gronkowski’s new deal is at the top of the Patriots’ list of things to do, so don’t be surprised if we have our answer by the end of the month.