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Pats made Gronkowski an offer he couldn’t refuse

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A debate likely is coming as to whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski received a contract that properly reflects his skills and potential.  Many will say Gronkowski eventually could have gotten much more on the open market.  But Gronkowski, who plays the game in a way that suggests he’s willing to assume plenty of risks, elected to be far more cautious when it came to the subject of his money.

Drafted in 2010, Gronkowski had two years left on his rookie deal, at $570,000 in total compensation this year, and $660,000 in total compensation in 2013.  That’s $1.23 million in total pay for two full seasons, before Gronkowski qualifies even once for the tight end franchise tender.

Barring a recurrence of the back injury that knocked him out for all of the 2010 season, the Pats surely would have used the tight end franchise tag to keep Gronk around for 2014 and, if necessary, to squat on him for a sixth season at a 20-percent raise.  This year, the tight end version of the tag was only $5.446 million; most franchise tags actually dropped from 2011 to 2012.

So with the Pats dangling more than 6.5 times his total compensation for the next two years via an $8 million signing bonus and with a three-year guarantee in excess of $13 million and a four-year haul of more than $18 million, Gronkowski opted to pocket more now than what he would have made by playing on a year-to-year basis through 2015.

In exchange for the security, Gronkowski has given up his chance to hit the market in March 2016, unless of course the Pats decide not to pick up a $10 million option bonus that triggers the final four years of the deal.  Given that he received the kind of guaranteed money that there otherwise was no guarantee he’d stay healthy enough to earn over the next two years, Gronkowski decided to make the long-term commitment and pocket the kind of money that, moving forward under the 2011 CBA, no player will be eligible to receive until making it through at least three NFL seasons.

It’s easy to insist he could have gotten a lot more later.  And he could have.  He also could have gotten less.  In the end, turning down the Patriots’ offer turned out a gamble that Gronkowski, and few others in that same position, would take.

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22 Responses to “Pats made Gronkowski an offer he couldn’t refuse”
  1. joetoronto says: Jun 8, 2012 1:32 PM

    If he didn’t take it, he’d be sleeping with the fishes.

  2. nflofficeadmin says: Jun 8, 2012 1:32 PM

    Between college and the pros Gronk has been injury prone, so it’s better to get the money now before he gets labeled.

  3. godofwine330 says: Jun 8, 2012 1:35 PM

    As I said before, This is a steal for the Patriots because it is so bottom heavy. So $8.54M this year, $650k next year (WTH?!), $3.75 in 2014 & $4.75 in 2015. This doesn’t sound like a contract commersurate of the #1 tight end in all of football. In fact, he doesn’t start to get paid like the best TE in all of football until the option bonus of $10M in 2016(that he is unlikely to get outside of the idea that the Mayans supposedly said we weren’t going to get to that year) and the $8-9M phoney money in the last two years!

    This is a bad contract from my point of view for the #1 player at his position in the NFL, and contracts like this are why Osi had so many issues in New York. In the end, they gave a starving man a cracker and he gobbled it up like it was the best steak he’d ever had. He sold himself kinda cheap.

  4. thingamajig says: Jun 8, 2012 1:39 PM

    If the Pat’s made that offer to me I probably would take it (reluctantly).

  5. bigwalt2990 says: Jun 8, 2012 1:43 PM

    So then there is no issue with the CBA thing? I thought he had to have played for 3 years. Or since this league year has started that counts for the third…?

  6. CKL says: Jun 8, 2012 1:44 PM

    Remember, he was a BIG medical risk when the Pats took him. I myself kind of did a little “there’s BB’ injury risk/high potential 2nd rounder again”. Man am I glad I was wrong. I hope Ras-I Dowling can take the same leap this year from that status. Heck even 50% of it!
    So Gronk is protected a little also in case his back does get to be an issue someday soon. But let’s face it, the Pats never do a deal they feel they are on the wrong end of.

  7. mattwalshvideo says: Jun 8, 2012 1:48 PM

    Meathead of epic proportions, he can’t count to 5 so it’s no wonder he get railroaded by the cheating head coach and the drunk owner.

  8. mullman7675 says: Jun 8, 2012 1:52 PM

    Contract numbers are all smoke and mirrors. The only guatantee that NFL players can count on is the fact their team can release them anytime they want.

    Hope the kid can stay healthy.

  9. bradybbgoat says: Jun 8, 2012 1:55 PM

    I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but does anyone think Gronkowski might have quietly been holding out?

    Perhaps Rosenhaus kept the holdout quiet in exchange for good faith negotiations.

  10. ortonwhiskeycrew says: Jun 8, 2012 2:07 PM

    nflofficeadmin says: Jun 8, 2012 1:32 PM

    Between college and the pros Gronk has been injury prone, so it’s better to get the money now before he gets labeled.
    ——————
    He had the back problem but that was it in college. And the leg was just bad luck play that happens.

    As long as he stops diving for TD’s on his neck he’ll be healthy.

  11. thefam3132 says: Jun 8, 2012 2:12 PM

    “Barring a recurrence of the back injury that knocked him out for all of the 2010 season”- are you serious with this information? Who told you that Gronk missed all of 2010? He’s been in the NFL for 2 years (2010 & 2011) and has not missed a game.

  12. tomeffnbrady says: Jun 8, 2012 2:19 PM

    haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but does anyone think Gronkowski might have quietly been holding out?

    Perhaps Rosenhaus kept the holdout quiet in exchange for good faith negotiations.

    ——
    holding out isn’t really effective if your injured and need rehab.

  13. homelanddefense says: Jun 8, 2012 2:30 PM

    yeah what a huge gamble he is taking by making himself the highest paid TE in league history.

  14. rdly49ers says: Jun 8, 2012 2:58 PM

    Vernon Davis Best TE in Football PERIOD .

  15. schmitty2 says: Jun 8, 2012 3:23 PM

    Maybe the Pat’s know Hernandez is a pretty darn good tight end in his own right so don’t seem in a rush to give Gronk the huge contract. I don’t know..just a thought

  16. deliveredbysherpa says: Jun 8, 2012 3:31 PM

    Another great move by the Patriots

  17. ampats says: Jun 8, 2012 4:18 PM

    rdly49ers,

    Vernon Davis couldn’t hold Gronk’s Margharita.

  18. managod777 says: Jun 8, 2012 5:33 PM

    Oh yeah…Vernon Davis the best. His problem is he has Alex Smith. Imagine if he had Peyton? Also, Tom throws to another TE named Aaron Hernandez, who caught Tebow passes in college.

  19. lennydpocketqb says: Jun 8, 2012 10:15 PM

    This signing has all but locked up one more appearance in the Super Bowl for Thomas Brady. Winning it might be a different story.

  20. belicheckyoself says: Jun 8, 2012 11:59 PM

    TEs dont often get a ton in open market. They also can be heavily qb dependent.
    He probably also wants to be on a team that has a shot of winning a ring, at least right now while theres blood in the water for that.
    Plus NYJ would have PAID this guy, so NE went to work on it early.
    Hell with facing that twice a year lol.
    He’s not particularly injury prone in my opinion.

  21. patriotera says: Jun 9, 2012 10:42 AM

    Will be interesting to see if his stats go down now that he got paid. The whole party boy after big Superbowl lose thing has me wondering. I mean.. I can’t listen to Tom Petty anymore because he played during half time of the Pats first SB loss to the giants.

  22. jboyxl73 says: Jun 10, 2012 5:18 AM

    Remember he was paid to a college guy 1 million dollars is paid …. He earned his money and deserved it up front he could have waited and tore his ACL and lost money he took it now smart guy lil goofy but the people that handle him are smart …,

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