The New England Patriots have definitely sweetened the contract deal of tight end Rob Gronkowski by adding $4.3 million in incentives for 2018. Of the $4.3 million, Gronkowski can earn $1 million in per-game roster bonuses. Then he can earn a maximum of $3.3 million by hitting three of the following four incentives, according to Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent:
- $1.1 million for 70 or more catches
- $1.1 million for 1,085 receiving yards
- $1.1 million for 80 percent playing time
- $1.1 million for nine or more touchdown catches
Last season, Gronkowski finished with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns, with 79.3 percent playing time. In May 2017, after an injury-shortened 2016 season, Gronkowski agreed to a similarly structured revision, boosted with multiple tiers of incentives.
This marks the third time this preseason the Patriots have addressed contracts. They added $5 million in incentives to quarterback Tom Brady’s deal, and on Tuesday they signed right guard Shaq Mason to a five-year, $50 million extension, according to a league source. It’s the second straight year that Gronkowski, who is in his ninth season, has had his deal adjusted prior to the season.
Gronkowski, who is only 29, considered retirement after New England lost Super Bowl LII last February. He indicated that he needed to get his body right in order to make a final decision. Gronkowski states:
“I feel good enough to where I thought I could come back, go throughout the whole season, go throughout camp, and just keep playing the game be enjoying it. That’s how it’s been, and when you’re enjoying the game, when you’re feeling good, you just love playing the game.”
Gronkowski is also very humble when it comes to the sport. Last week, he was asked about Odell Beckham Jr.’s $95 million deal with the Giants. Gronkowski’s answer sounded, almost as if he was describing himself:
“He’s a great player. He comes up clutch in many situations and just his talent is second to none. It’s always good to see guys like that, that got that talent — I’m in for the players always. I mean, I’m a player, so it’s good to see that.”
What will Gronkowski do with this money? In a previous post, he indicated that he hasn’t used much of his contract money, but has instead managed to find a way to live without touching that money. As we noted in that previous post, that is something of an accomplishment. Typically, NFL players like to live lavishly and are often left without money when they’re finished playing. I’m not saying that’s always the case, however, it seems to happen more often than not. But it doesn’t seem that way for Gronkowski. In fact, its the opposite.
As I mentioned, he is only 29. Which means, he will have to watch his spending or figure out his second career. For many of us, living off of $10 million for the rest of our lives might seem great. But for others, that isn’t enough money. I think, though, that this salary increase, as well as the incentives, are due to his accomplishments throughout his time with the Patriots. Gronkowski is a great tight end, and hopefully, this could bring more opportunities for Gronkowski in the future.