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Patriots, Gronkowski agree to 2017 incentive package

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Last year, the Patriots and tight end Rob Gronkowski began the process of negotiating a new contract. His latest back surgery derailed that process, and also prevented as a practical matter a new deal in 2017.

That said, the Patriots agreed to the unusual step of giving Gronkowski an incentive package with nothing in return: No reduced salaries, no restructuring, no extra terms. Instead, it’s simply more money based on performance, on top of the money Gronkowski already was due to earn.

Gronkowski had been due to make $5.25 million in 2017, roughly $8.5 million in 2018, and $9 million in 2019. As it now stands, he has a three-tiered incentive package for 2017.

According to agent Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski can earn another $5.5 million, another $3 million, or another $1 million under the following formula: (1) if he participates in 90 percent of the offensive snaps OR catches 80 passes OR gains 1,200 receiving yards OR scores 14 touchdowns OR is named a first-team All-Pro, Gronkowski will earn the extra $5.5 million; (2) if he participates in 80 percent of the snaps OR catches 70 passes OR has 1,000 receiving yards OR scores 12 touchdowns, he gets the extra $3 million; or (3) if he participates in 70 percent of the snaps OR catches 60 passes OR has 800 receiving yards OR scores 10 touchdowns, he gets the extra $1 million.

The extra payments would be due in February, with the cap charge applying in 2018.

Gronkowski is a three-time first-team All-Pro, he has two seasons with 90 or more catches, one with more than 14 touchdowns, two with 12 or more, and three with 1,000 or more. Every time he has appeared in at least 15 games (with the exception of his rookie year), Gronkowski has had more than 1,000 receiving yards, and he has been named a first-team All-Pro.

It’s a true win-win, giving Gronkowski something more than what he was entitled to and ensuring that the Patriots will have a happy and motivated player. Talks on a potential extension for the 28-year-old will now be tabled until 2018, and his performance in 2017 will be a major factor in those discussions.

Based on his history, a healthy Gronkowski enhances the chances of the kind of season that will help him become a first-team All-Pro, delivering the $5.5 million regardless of playing time, catches, yards, or touchdowns. The only question is whether, given the various offensive additions the Patriots have made, the ball will come his way often enough to allow him to achieve the kind of performance that gets him enough All-Pro votes.

Given the size and reliability of the target he gives to quarterback Tom Brady, that presence of other options shouldn’t be a major issue.

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65 Responses to “Patriots, Gronkowski agree to 2017 incentive package”
  1. eatme2259 says: May 23, 2017 5:56 PM

    Just watch pats will lose draft picks over this. Lmao

    ///////////////

    pat fan is going to post this, thought I would get it out of the way.

    heyhey

  2. patriots123456 says: May 23, 2017 5:58 PM

    I can’t wait to hear how the Pats don’t pay and they cheated Gronk.

  3. grogansheroes says: May 23, 2017 5:58 PM

    Smart for both the player and the team. It’s amazing what Belichick does as a GM. Should be executive of the year every year.

  4. gstewart400 says: May 23, 2017 6:00 PM

    That kind of blows up the narrative of the Pats-are-cheap haters.

  5. 6ball says: May 23, 2017 6:01 PM

    .
    It’s a smart move by the Patriots. If he earns his incentive package, the Patriots will have already benefitted from his productivity. It’s a renegotiaion without the renegotiaion.
    .

  6. tonyzendejas says: May 23, 2017 6:03 PM

    LET THE BIG DOG EAT

  7. dartmouthstevens says: May 23, 2017 6:11 PM

    90% of the offensive snaps? Not a chance. And that is true of anyone not on the O line or named Brady.

  8. eddievortex says: May 23, 2017 6:16 PM

    A win win for both sides.

    If Gronkowski is healthy and stays healthy, plus with the motivation in the contract…Yikes!

  9. bongwaterwally says: May 23, 2017 6:21 PM

    If you play for the Pats, you are playing for rings and nothing more. Nobody gets paid except Bill and Bobby. Just ask Tom.

  10. tylawspick6 says: May 23, 2017 6:22 PM

    jaelousy rising

  11. bongwaterwally says: May 23, 2017 6:25 PM

    Regardless of incentives, hopefully the Pats will keep buying Gronk his beer? My god, do the right thing and feed that beast!

  12. stucats says: May 23, 2017 6:26 PM

    GRONKOWSKI=MEAT HEAD

  13. wib22 says: May 23, 2017 6:26 PM

    Glass

  14. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: May 23, 2017 6:30 PM

    GOAT tight end

  15. bongwaterwally says: May 23, 2017 6:31 PM

    Its funny how Gronk still has to prove himself to the team. I think he has…………….. The Pats are sooo cheap!

  16. redclaw1314 says: May 23, 2017 6:34 PM

    GRONKOWSKI=MEAT HEAD

    ____________________
    wish I could be a “meathead” like GRONK

  17. ricko1112 says: May 23, 2017 6:37 PM

    As a Patriots fan, this is a big win-win. This will keep Gronk happy and motivated this year. If he stays healthy, NE will negotiate a new contract. If not, he may be traded.

  18. meatycleats says: May 23, 2017 6:48 PM

    This is how all sports should pay! Performance base, not jes showboatin’ n highcapn’!

  19. factpurveyor says: May 23, 2017 6:49 PM

    wib22 says:
    May 23, 2017 6:26 PM

    Glass

    ————————————————————–
    Very true…the 5 Lombardi trophy’s are in a glass display case. Gronk coming back increases the chances for the Patriots earning #6.

  20. rje49 says: May 23, 2017 6:51 PM

    If he stays healthy, everything else will work out just fine. I mean great.

  21. jimmylikesthat says: May 23, 2017 6:51 PM

    They can’t win unless Gronk is healthy…what’s that…they won without him last year…never mind

  22. cletuspstillwaterjr says: May 23, 2017 6:51 PM

    I think he is a dynamic player. However, in the working world, we call this a PIP ( Performance Improvement Plan). It is a paper trail that typically leads to termination. I will bet if Gronk doesn’t hit at least #3 he will be traded for draft picks.

  23. ctchiefsfan says: May 23, 2017 6:55 PM

    I don’t like the Pats. But this was a REALLY SMART MOVE on their part.

  24. harrisonhits2 says: May 23, 2017 7:13 PM

    “90% of the offensive snaps? Not a chance. And that is true of anyone not on the O line or named Brady.”

    I would expect Edelman is up around 90% as well.

    “GRONKOWSKI=MEAT HEAD”

    You are buying into his goofy public persona. The fact that he’s saved all his NFL money and has been living off endorsement deal money says otherwise.

  25. bassicdave says: May 23, 2017 7:14 PM

    People forget too that Brady and Gronk put fans in the seats, sell TONS of merchandise, and gallons of $12 beers.

  26. Obi Wan Jablowme says: May 23, 2017 7:19 PM

    Story says: he already signed the richest contract in history for a tight end. And if he stays healthy he is getting a raise

    And somehow this is proof “that the pats are cheap”. I just don’t understand the inability to comprehend simple facts. It really blows my mind. Christ…

  27. tylawspick6 says: May 23, 2017 7:26 PM

    Obi Wan Jablowme says:
    May 23, 2017 7:19 PM
    Story says: he already signed the richest contract in history for a tight end. And if he stays healthy he is getting a raise

    And somehow this is proof “that the pats are cheap”. I just don’t understand the inability to comprehend simple facts. It really blows my mind. Christ…

    3 0

    ———
    millennil morons want so badly to overpay and
    be dumb like those fans’ dumb gms do with their
    players, so when it does not happen, they lash out
    with catch phrase words like “cheap”, “cheat”, etc.

    it is the logic of people with very low iqs

  28. ocgunslinger says: May 23, 2017 7:27 PM

    Belichick must want to distance himself from the pack. In addition to coaching he understands all the management roles and the rules better than the majority of the NFL. He is something else and a treasure to New England.

  29. tylawspick6 says: May 23, 2017 7:27 PM

    ctchiefsfan says:
    May 23, 2017 6:55 PM
    I don’t like the Pats. But this was a REALLY SMART MOVE on their part.

    16 0
    Report comment

    ——

    i love the pats and i thought it was a really smart move

  30. walker1191 says: May 23, 2017 7:32 PM

    jimmylikesthat says:
    May 23, 2017 6:51 PM

    They can’t win unless Gronk is healthy…what’s that…they won without him last year…never mind
    ————————————————————-
    That’s the amazing part. They won the SB without their best offensive weapon.

  31. weepingjebus says: May 23, 2017 7:36 PM

    Love watching him run people over, but his true secret power is that he has the best hands on the team (including Edelman). A guy with his size and power who can catch a football at his ankles while at a dead run is basically uncoverable. See you soon!

  32. bchap17 says: May 23, 2017 7:57 PM

    Pats gonna Pat. They know his body won’t allow him to meet those escalators.

  33. TheWizard says: May 23, 2017 7:58 PM

    It’s amazing what Belichick does as a GM. Should be executive of the year every year.

    Or at least once.

  34. maust1013 says: May 23, 2017 8:07 PM

    bongwaterwally says:
    May 23, 2017 6:31 PM
    Its funny how Gronk still has to prove himself to the team. I think he has…………….. The Pats are sooo cheap!
    ====================

    Too much bong and not enough water there wally

  35. maust1013 says: May 23, 2017 8:16 PM

    tylawspick6 says:
    May 23, 2017 7:26 PM

    millennil morons…

    it is the logic of people with very low iqs
    ======================

    Misspelling millennial, failing to use capitals properly and constantly saying every team but the Pats is either in or headed for cap hell even when they aren’t kind of costs you the high ground when it comes to commenting on the IQ of anyone else.

  36. thundersnacker says: May 23, 2017 8:23 PM

    bongwaterwally says:
    May 23, 2017 6:21 PM

    If you play for the Pats, you are playing for rings and nothing more. Nobody gets paid except Bill and Bobby. Just ask Tom
    ===========
    You know who gets paid? The longtime fans…. those fans get paid back for all of the awful years that were the near entirety of the Pats existence. We are going to be able to talk about this run to our graves like only a few other fan bases can. And if Gronk can stay on the field as long as we all hope, every one who loves football gets paid. That guy plays the way we wished everyone played, no matter what team you root for.

  37. realtruthteller100 says: May 23, 2017 8:34 PM

    all player contract should be incentive based. its a joke in todays day in age that guys get guaranteed money. if u dont work (and score tds) u shouldnt be able to eat or feed ur family.

  38. descendency says: May 23, 2017 8:43 PM

    Gronk doesn’t have to meet play time metrics. He can also be an All Pro and earn it all. Or he can catch like 80 catches and 1200+ yards.

    The max number seems pretty easy to hit for Gronk if he can stay healthy.

  39. thepopefromtv says: May 23, 2017 8:54 PM

    thundersnacker says:
    May 23, 2017 8:23 PM

    You know who gets paid? The longtime fans…. those fans get paid back for all of the awful years that were the near entirety of the Pats existence. We are going to be able to talk about this run to our graves like only a few other fan bases can. And if Gronk can stay on the field as long as we all hope, every one who loves football gets paid. That guy plays the way we wished everyone played, no matter what team you root for.
    ——————-

    As a Dolphins fan since about 2005, I love watching Gronk play. I just love watching good football in general. As long as Gronk stays healthy the Pats will have no excuses when they get swept just like my man Juice said. Phins gonna have three 1,000 yard players this year, bank on it.

  40. nhpats says: May 23, 2017 8:54 PM

    Cue up another long year for the Haters….

  41. eatme2259 says: May 23, 2017 9:05 PM

    tylawspick6 says:
    May 23, 2017 7:26 PM

    millennil morons

    it is the logic of people with very low iqs

    ///////////

    What????????
    You make it too easy to pick on pats fans.

  42. jag1959 says: May 23, 2017 9:10 PM

    TheWizard says:
    May 23, 2017 7:58 PM
    It’s amazing what Belichick does as a GM. Should be executive of the year every year.

    Or at least once.
    ________________________

    Not a Pats fan but a big Belichick fan going back to his Giants days. Since Pioli left the Patriots after the ’07 season and Belichick became the sole unquestioned GM these are the winners of EOTY:
    2008 — Bill Parcells, Miami Dolphins
    2009 — Bill Polian, Indianapolis Colts
    2010 — Scott Pioli, Kansas City Chiefs
    2011 — Trent Baalke, San Francisco 49ers
    2012 — Ryan Grigson, Indianapolis Colts
    2013 — John Dorsey, Kansas City Chiefs
    2014 — Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
    2015 — Mike Maccagnan, New York Jets
    2016 — Reggie McKenzie, Oakland Raiders

    Unless there is fine print somewhere that states that the EOTY award was redefined with the intent of making it some sort of consolation prize the absence of Belichick, John Schneider and Elway on that list is nothing short of a travesty.

  43. bigoldred says: May 23, 2017 9:15 PM

    Not true, because they’re cheap, every one says so!

  44. bigsausagepizza12 says: May 23, 2017 9:22 PM

    Soft

  45. metlifeteardown says: May 23, 2017 9:27 PM

    The unbelievable arrogance of some Pats fans. Some guy basically writes that Brandon Marshall is no good because “the Patriots never tried to sign him”. Like maybe if you had him in 2015 v Denver when Marshall had 100+ for 1500 with Fitzpatrick throwing to him it might have helped. Instead , you go 58 minutes against the Jets and Broncs in late December and January without an offensive TD not off a turnover deep. That’s with Mr. GOAT who would have liked him over Danny Amendola right? Oh that’s right Danny is a great blocker like Brandon too.

  46. superpatriotsfan says: May 23, 2017 9:28 PM

    Soft as avocado ice cream

  47. terripet says: May 23, 2017 9:39 PM

    Good move by kraft this guy won’t make 6 games a walking ambulance

  48. tylawspick6 says: May 23, 2017 9:48 PM

    May 23, 2017 9:05 PM
    tylawspick6 says:
    May 23, 2017 7:26 PM

    millennil morons

    it is the logic of people with very low iqs

    ///////////

    What????????
    You make it too easy to pick on pats fans.

    —-

    oh no! not a typo on smart phone while riding in a car!!

    you millennials sure are sensitive

    been to the library lately? or ever? lol!

  49. tylawspick6 says: May 23, 2017 9:54 PM

    as a Dolphins fan since about 2005, I love watching Gronk play. I just love watching good football in general. As long as Gronk stays healthy the Pats will have no excuses when they get swept just like my man Juice said. Phins gonna have three 1,000 yard players this year, bank on it.
    ——

    just curious, but how does one magically become
    a dolphins fan 10 years ago?

    was it the god awful creamsicle orange unis that they
    wore on monday night football?

  50. mzew233 says: May 23, 2017 10:38 PM

    Literally wish they would instead take a relaxed approach and sit him during non key games.
    Sit maybe until there’s a loss, or until the Denver game as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m not worried about the AFC this year. But he deserves to PLAY with a ring and I also don’t think NFC will be easy this year.

    Pushing himself to make records this year will only create more possibility of injury.

    He deserves a super bowl TD in minnesota this year.

  51. 315judman says: May 23, 2017 11:05 PM

    He’s tough to tackle, but easily injured. The most ironic man on the grid iron.

  52. walker1191 says: May 23, 2017 11:07 PM

    dartmouthstevens says:
    May 23, 2017 6:11 PM

    90% of the offensive snaps? Not a chance. And that is true of anyone not on the O line or named Brady.
    ————————————————————-
    Reading comprehension not your strongsuit? He doesn’t have to play 90% of the snaps to get the max bonus. That’s what the use of the OR means:

    <>

  53. fafaflunky says: May 23, 2017 11:13 PM

    12 tds check 1200 yds stretch all pro check. Gronk will 10 .7 this year

  54. daddeeo says: May 23, 2017 11:23 PM

    TREMBLE rest of the league… tremble.

    At least there are purple participation ribbons for the rest of you.

  55. Three of a perfect pair says: May 23, 2017 11:36 PM

    bchap17 says:
    May 23, 2017 7:57 PM
    Pats gonna Pat. They know his body won’t allow him to meet those escalators.

    terripet says:
    May 23, 2017 9:39 PM
    Good move by kraft this guy won’t make 6 games a walking ambulance

    —————–

    Then you got nothing to worry about. Right?
    Right?

  56. curtj5 says: May 24, 2017 12:07 AM

    Who are the Patriots?

  57. bamboozle99 says: May 24, 2017 12:50 AM

    I don’t see what’s the news here. He might get to tier 3 and make an extra mil, so what?

  58. pittsburghdamned says: May 24, 2017 2:09 AM

    The 3 yard Slantriots have become so boring.

    Start warming up Janine Garofalo

  59. aj66shanghai says: May 24, 2017 3:19 AM

    Smart to recognize they have a good enough team as is, and the extra cap room should be used in part to make their most iconic player happy. Like most of America I can’t stand the Patriots but they aren’t dummies.

  60. rickeyp says: May 24, 2017 4:39 AM

    Over his career, Gronk has played in 83 of 112 regular season games (74.1%). He started 75 of those games (67.0%).

    In the playoffs Gronk’s played in a total of 10 of 14 games (71.4%). That’s a grand total of 93 of 126 games (73.8%).

    Gronk hasn’t played in every game since 2011. And he’s coming off his statistically worst season…

    In 8 games last year, Gronk had 25 catches, 540 yards, 3 TD’s. Those were career lows in each receiving stat. Plus he missed all 3 postseason games.

  61. exinsidetrader says: May 24, 2017 7:12 AM

    I would love to see the Pats give scheduled rest games/halfs to Brady and Gronk so that they are ready for the playoffs while also developing back-ups for use or trade.

    For fans of the Pats, the SuperBowl is all that matters and both of them healthy makes it more likely.

  62. brwmstr says: May 24, 2017 10:41 AM

    All contracts should be a base plus incentives. Just makes sense. Gives the players something to strive for. I realize the downsides that why a good “base” is needed.

  63. harrisonhits2 says: May 24, 2017 11:25 AM

    “The 3 yard Slantriots have become so boring”

    Huh, guess you missed the perfect 40 and 50 yard bombs Brady torched your Steelers with in the AFCC last playoffs.

    Guess you also missed the Pats were #2 in the league in completions of 20+ yards or more in the air. Only the Falcons had more.

    Its amazing the long disproven things that people post here over and over again just to make themselves feel special.

  64. srvmustang says: May 24, 2017 4:18 PM

    315judman says:
    May 23, 2017 11:05 PM
    He’s tough to tackle, but easily injured. The most ironic man on the grid iron.

    /////////

    “easily” injured? So you would just jump right up and dust off your uniform if a 200-pound safety smashed into your knee while you were running at full speed?
    Please get a clue.

  65. silvernblacksabbath says: May 25, 2017 9:30 AM

    I’m shocked that Belichick hasn’t traded the often injured Gronk for two 1st Round picks…

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