Rarely is Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski called wise. In hindsight, he made a very shrewd move last year.
With only two years of NFL service and still two years away from free agency (or, possibly, the franchise tag), Gronkowski accepted an offer from the Pats that he couldn’t have refused. With the start of his 2013 season reportedly in doubt, he was wise to cash in his chips when he did.
Specifically, Gronkowski traded two years and $1.23 million for a four-year, $18 million deal. He’ll either become an unrestricted free agent in 2016, or he’ll get another $10 million from his current team.
That $10 million doesn’t look to be as much of a sure thing as it was 10 months ago, when Gronkowski signed the contract. A twice-broken forearm, a lingering infection, and a growing reputation for doing not-so-wise things could prompt the Pats to, at a minimum, try to get him to take less to stick around.
Regardless, if Gronkowski hadn’t done the long-term deal last year, his value would be dropping as he prepares for the last year of his rookie contract.
And while some would say that Gronkowski would perhaps be in better overall condition if he were still chasing a payday, it’s hard to avoid breaking an arm twice — and an infection that quite possibly occurred during surgery.
So, yes, Gronkowski was smart last year when he accepted the offer. Even if on multiple other occasions he hasn’t necessarily done smart things.