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Official Gronk numbers confirm it’s a four-year deal, plus maybe more

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For a change, the initial reports regarding the value of a big-money contract mesh with the real numbers.

We had the details Friday of tight end Rob Gronkowski’s new contract.  The official figures are now in, and they reflect what originally was believed.

The six-year extension creates an eight-year deal that amounts to, in reality, a four-year deal with a series of four one-year team options thereafter.

Gronkowski replaces the $1.23 million he was due to earn over the final two years of his rookie contract with the same base salaries and workout bonuses in 2012 and 2013, plus a signing bonus of $8 million, fully-guaranteed compensation of $4 million in 2014, and $5 million in 2015 pay that is guaranteed for injury only for now, and that becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster five days after the Super Bowl that ends the 2014 season.

After the fourth year, the Pats have to decide whether to pay Gronkowski an option bonus of $10 million, which the team has to decide whether to exercise by the end of the 2015 league year.  As Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal pointed out on Friday, the Pats have agreed not to pass on the option and then use the franchise or transition tag to keep him around for another season at what likely would be a much lower figure than $10 million.

So Gronkowski either will become an unrestricted free agent after four seasons, or he’ll get $10 million plus $2.25 million in base salary and a workout bonus of $250,000 and $31,250 for each game that he appears on the active roster, for a total possible haul in 2016 alone of $13 million.

The keys to the ultimate duration of the deal could be the cap numbers.  At very low figures of $2.66 million and $2.75 million in 2012 and 2013, respectively, the number moves to $5.4 million in 2014 and then to $8.65 million in 2015.

That makes Gronkowski a candidate for an extension or a restructuring in 2015, in order to drive the cap figure down.

Of course, that would serve only to increase the cap numbers of $6.65 million, $7 million, $11 million, and $12 million over the final four years of the contract, making the final two seasons at base salaries of $8 million and $9 million even less likely to ever be fulfilled.

Still, given that he was facing only $1.23 million over the next two seasons and up to two seasons thereafter of the tight end franchise tag, Gronkowski has emerged with a large bird in the hand, in lieu of two in a bush that he wouldn’t have gotten close enough to catch for at least two more years, maybe four.

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10 Responses to “Official Gronk numbers confirm it’s a four-year deal, plus maybe more”
  1. farty5 says: Jun 12, 2012 1:29 PM

    “Gronkowski has emerged with a large bird in the hand, in lieu of two in a bush that he wouldn’t have gotten close enough to catch for at least two more years, maybe four.”
    ——————————————–

    This needs some work.

  2. willcool21 says: Jun 12, 2012 1:31 PM

    And yes he got hammered and danced like a child after they announced he got paid.

  3. xplicitpits says: Jun 12, 2012 1:33 PM

    Well deserved!

  4. ctiggs says: Jun 12, 2012 1:42 PM

    He is a great SYSTEM player, but this guy produces for 1.5 years , drinks with underage girls and dances after super bowl losses. While forte, brees, mjd, amongst other players get the run around, after producing for years.

  5. 6ball says: Jun 12, 2012 2:06 PM

    .

    The 8 million signing bonus may have been most important to Gronkowski . He has a history of back injuries and plays like the tasmanian devil .

    No matter what else happens , he’s already banked the 8 large .

    .

  6. dalucks says: Jun 12, 2012 2:16 PM

    This confirms this is the last season for Wes Welker in a Patriots uniform. I would not be surprised if the Patriots traded him during the season. Wes will not be getting a long term deal in New England, he was such a good little foot soldier.

  7. thegronk87 says: Jun 12, 2012 2:26 PM

    if he was at anywhere near 100% in the super bowl, patriots win. are you reading this coughlin/eli?

  8. elroyjetsson says: Jun 12, 2012 3:12 PM

    thegronk87 says:
    Jun 12, 2012 2:26 PM
    if he was at anywhere near 100% in the super bowl, patriots win. are you reading this coughlin/eli?
    ______________________________
    Yes, I saw them in a diner this morning and overheard them discussing your comments. That was right after they mentioned Lee Evans dropped pass and Billy Cundiff’s missed chip shot.

  9. homelanddefense says: Jun 12, 2012 3:42 PM

    I grant you the point. But I will still argue that Evans didnt drop that pass. I cant call it a drop when the CB knocks the ball out of a guys hands.

    Should he have made the catch, probably, but it was knocked out. The FG was unforgivable.

  10. sd5547 says: Jun 12, 2012 9:46 PM

    With his hair spiked up he looked like Ivan Drago now he looks like Popeye.

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