In 2010, teams and agents have haggled over the timing of the option bonus to be paid in 2011 to first-rounder and second-rounders. If there’s a lockout, the player won’t see the option bonus, at least until the labor situation is resolved.
The Pats and tight end Rob Gronkowski have found a way around the situation — he’s getting no option bonus. But he’s still getting paid.
Instead, per a league source, Gronkowsi’s deal pays a signing bonus of $1.76 million and a one-time incentive based on minimum playing time in the amount of $830,000.
The contract includes minimum base salaries ($320,000 in 2010, $405,000 in 2011, $490,000 in 2012, and $575,00 in 2013). The 2013 base salary is fully guaranteed for skill and injury. Also, $255,000 of the 2012 salary is guaranteed. (Once the one-time incentive is earned, the base salaries become non-guaranteed.)
In all, $2.59 million is guaranteed; the only question is whether it the $830,000 above and beyond the signing bonus comes from the one-timer or the guaranteed base salaries in 2012 and 2013.
The deal also includes $30,000 in workout bonuses for the last two years, triggered if the one-time incentive is earned.