Gronkowski inks six-year, $54 million extension


If Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski commemorates a Super Bowl loss by dancing with his shirt off, we suggest averting your eyes for his post-mega-contract victory celebration.

Per a league source, Gronkowski has signed a six-year contract extension.  The deal carries, we’re told, $54 million in new money.

Given that he already was under contract for two more years, the deal binds Gronkowski to the team for eight seasons, putting him under contract through 2019.

The contract includes an $8 million signing bonus, a fully-guaranteed 2012 base salary of $540,000, a fully-guaranteed 2013 base salary of $630,000, and a fully-guaranteed base salary of $3.75 million in 2014.

He also has workout bonuses of $30,000 in 2012 and 2013, and a guaranteed workout bonus of $250,000 in 2014.

His $4.75 million base salary and $250,000 workout bonus for 2015 are guaranteed for injury prior to end of 2014 league year, then guaranteed fully.

The guarantee on signing is $13.17 million, and another $5 million is guaranteed for injury.  The total cash for the next four years will be $18.23 million, which exceeds the combination of Gronkowski’s prior contract for the next two years and two years of the franchise tag.

The Pats face a decision in 2016, at which time a $10 million option bonus comes due.  If the Patriots pick up the option (factors will include whether Tom Brady is still the quarterback, and whether Bill Belichick is still the head coach, and whether Gronkowski is still playing at a high level), the final four years include salaries of $8 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019.

The new money over six years averages $9 million annually.  Factoring in the existing two years, the deal is worth less than $7 million per year — assuming that the Patriots pick up the 2016 option and honor the full eight years of the deal.

For now, it’s definitely a three-year, $13.23 million deal, and $18.23 million over four if he’s not cut after three seasons.

Given that Gronkowski has only two years in the league and would make only a little more than $1 million over the next two seasons, then face the franchise tag up to twice, a very strong case can be made for taking the money now, especially since the Patriots rarely open the vault early, if ever.  After missing a full season in college with a spine injury that required surgery, more than $13 million guaranteed now is a lot more than the $1 million in change he would have made while carrying the full injury risk for two full seasons.

The Patriots now have the ability to use the franchise tag on tight end Aaron Hernandez in 2014, if they can’t get a long-term deal done with him.

70 responses to “Gronkowski inks six-year, $54 million extension

  1. .

    Good business sense…..why make him feel underpaid? It’s not like he hasn’t proven his value.


  2. Wow! That’s a ton of money for a TE, but he’s worth every penny.


  3. Jimmy Graham can go hang out with Brees now, and say he wants the same contract.

  4. Finallt the Pats are taking care of their young stars BEFORE their rookie contracts are up. The price only goes up every year. Paying them early saves money in the long run. Unless your name is Revis.

  5. It’s really unfortunate Welker got hurt when he did, that would’ve been the year for a contract such as this. A terrible shame, but I’m glad he signed his tender.

    Everyone knew the Pats would be looking to lock down Gronk and Hernandez in the not too distant future, and here’s one piece of the puzzle.

    We also knew the Pats couldn’t afford a massive contract commensurate with what Welker has accomplished to date, precisely because Gronk and Hernandez needed to be locked down.

  6. The patriots will never pay the $$$ at the back end of the contract.
    They will grind him down, they will want/force him to restructure.

    Looks good on paper, but the patriots have shown their system most resembles a meat grinder. The past ten years the have been running through some good meat, prime rib, sirloin and such. Quality burgers. But in the end, they grind you up and send you on your way.

    Gronkowski will be on the open market in 2015. Maybe immediately after the 2014 season.


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  8. 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.

    (I guess I’m a little happy about this.)

    And to all the people who think Chad Ocho was “ruined” in NE because he couldn’t show his personality, this should prove that’s bunk. Gronk is a funloving wildman, but a total football junkie and fit in the offense right away.

    People who think the Pats are all about players not showing their personalities might be surprised at the stuff some vets get away with saying and doing to BB behind closed doors. Ask Matt Light, Vrabel, etc. What they’re NOT about is creating bulletin board material for opposing teams.

  10. Well done, Patriots. Make sure you keep him in line and keep him out of trouble. He’s a talented athlete and I would hate have him tarnish his talents by committing an act of stupidity.

  11. @ homelanddefense says:
    but the Patriots dont pay, right?


    And they didn’t.

    $13.23M over 3 years? That is $4.41M, and the best player at his position in the NFL these past 2 years should be getting $5-6M at least. It was more than he was making ($1M over the next 2 seasons) but far less than he is worth.

    In the end, it looks like the Patriots spent big money, but the details say that it was ax extremely team friendly deal.

  12. I hope a clip doesn’t surface of him dancing after signing that contract. Some things just can’t be unseen.

  13. Just have to hope you do not have to face the Eli and the Giants in the Super Bowl again and maybe you can get a ring to go with those really cool dance moves.

  14. Awesome!
    I like Hernandez equally as much. Keep these two together and you’ve got yourself a big part of an offense for years.
    On a sad note….I wish that Benny wasn’t gone.

  15. hockeyfootball98 says:
    Jun 8, 2012 12:47 PM
    Wes Welker wants an explanation!!
    The difference between Welker and Gronkowski: 8 years, 9 inches, and 85 pounds.

  16. “They will grind him down, they will want/force him to restructure.”

    If he’s still playing at this level in a few years, he’ll still be young enough to command top dollar and he can just tell them to pay him or release him. It’s a great contract for a young player.

  17. It’s really a deal through 2016. After that, Brady and Belechick will be gone. I wouldn’t count on any of the $10m option or salary after that.

  18. It’s not enough money in the first 3 – 4 years of the contract. That’s why the franchise tag should have been left out of the CBA. It’s too much leverage that the team applies to multiple players. Teams use the franchise tag as a threat.

  19. Will the anti-player, “you sign, don’t whine”, Osi-hater types come to Gronk’s defense in 2015 when the Pats cut him to simply save cap space????? I won’t hold my breath.

  20. VERY GLAD they got him signed up long term. His contract was starting to be on the mind of all Pats fans and this is good business sense for the Pats organization.

    It is astounding that they had the forethought to lock him up sooner (at less money) than trying to milk his low rookie contract for all its worth…which would no doubt end up costing them more in the long run. BB usually doesn’t do it…Mayo aside last year. More often than not, they get every ounce of value out of the rookie contracts, then play hardball.

    Good job Pats and congrats to Gronk. Well deserved!

  21. @godofwine330

    @ homelanddefense says:
    but the Patriots dont pay, right?


    And they didn’t.

    $13.23M over 3 years? That is $4.41M, and the best player at his position in the NFL these past 2 years should be getting $5-6M at least. It was more than he was making ($1M over the next 2 seasons) but far less than he is worth.

    In the end, it looks like the Patriots spent big money, but the details say that it was ax extremely team friendly deal.
    Patriots had all the leverage here. They paid much more than they had(they didn’t have to give him a raise at all) to up front in order to buy out his FA years(very similiar to baseball teams buying out FA years of younger players with arbitration years left)

  22. Remember I said this:

    This is a gross overpayment and time will show Gronk to be highly overrated.

    I’d rather have Hernandez.

  23. Wow they actually gave money to someone on their team…amazing! I thought they only gave their money to free agents and white guys..oh yeah he is white..

    And I’m white so it’s not racial..Just look at their track record..

  24. His pay spikes after a couple years; so if he gets injured, he’s cut-bait? I’m happy for him and NE, but reading between the lines a little, it gets blurry.

  25. Remember I said this:

    This is a gross overpayment and time will show Gronk to be highly overrated.

    I’d rather have Hernandez.

    his hands are like two catcher mitts and hes 6’8. hes not overrated. His sure catching and blocking ability make him the better TE imo.

  26. Smart move and there is likely enough money left over to re-sign Aaron and keep the tandem TEs going. Since this was a team-friendly deal… or one might say, championship motivated.

  27. Overrated. They have no deep threats. Welker is one hit away from being Wayne Chrebet. Play mam-to-man press coverage and the passing game disappears.

  28. I’m dying laughing at all Pats haters who are scrambling to explain how the Pats screwed him over and it’s a bad deal. Wow, Gronk you sure are dumb for getting the best TE deal in the history of the NFL.

  29. Isn’t it funny how the patriots look out for their white players but constantly make their black players jump through hoops or release them rather than pay them

  30. I really question the wisdom of creating this kind of imbalance in how they’re treating their key players.

    Touchdown totals are very fickle, and when your QB throws for 5000 yards and 39 TDs, all the receivers’ individual stat lines are going to look amazing. But the guy has had one big year, and now Hernandez and especially Welker are going to be feeling the sting of this one.

    I don’t know how they expect their key players to give it their all when they’re being treated like the kid in the ALLY Bank commercial (“I didn’t know I could have a REAL pony….”)

  31. @homelanddefense says: Jun 8, 2012 1:12 PM

    but the Patriots dont pay, right?


    No, they don’t. If you could read between the lines, it’s in actuality a 4 year deal at under 5mil per year.

    It’s a raise for Gronk, but not near even with what the top TE’s are getting.

  32. hardcore… How’s Welker’s long-term deal sitting with you? Gronk is young and the best at his position and a key to the offense. Vince Wilfork didn’t jump through too many hoops to get a new contract, please save the race card for when there is actual prejudice going on.

  33. Patriots lock up a great talent, and Gronk gets paid like the star he is. Win-win, in my book.

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