Patriots wisely extended Gronk for six years, two years after he was drafted

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One of the more underrated personnel moves in Bill Belichick’s long tenure with the Patriots was signing Rob Gronkowski to a six-year, $54 million contract in the summer of 2012, just two years after Gronk was drafted.

At the time, some thought that was too much money to pay a player who still had two years left on his rookie deal, but it turned out to be a great deal for the Patriots, one that locked up the guy who turned out to be the second-most important player on the team in this decade for his prime years, at an affordable price.

In fact, it was so affordable for the Patriots that Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus went to the Pats and told them they had to adjust the deal to make it more fair. Rosenhaus said on PFT Live that while Gronk never complained about his contract, Rosenhaus wouldn’t have been doing his job if he had allowed Gronkowski to play out that full six-year deal without ever getting a raise, and the Patriots were always willing to make adjustments to keep a future Hall of Famer happy.

“We did Rob’s contract after his second year — that was very unique, what the Patriots did,” Rosenhaus said. “He wasn’t Rob Gronkowski the Hall of Famer after his second year, but we got a very lucrative extension. But we were always chasing the next contract because he was the best player. So I think we renegotiated his deal five times. One deal we got the Patriots to move money up, every other year we got them to add incentives, just like last year. So it seemed like I was perpetually renegotiating Rob’s contract with the Patriots, but they were great to work with. They recognized what a unique player he was and we were always able to go back to the table and work stuff out.”

Belichick has made his share of mistakes in the draft and free agency, but he’s excellent at evaluating his own players, knowing which ones to extend, which ones to trade, which ones to cut. Gronkowski was one the Patriots always wanted to extend, starting much earlier in his career than some teams would have.

56 responses to “Patriots wisely extended Gronk for six years, two years after he was drafted

  1. Yet he’s never been named NFL Executive of the Year, but somehow Parcells got it with the Dolphins? On what planet does that makes sense…..

  2. One thing Belichick does is try and negotiate with players early. Get an extension at a reasonable price.
    And if he can’t he’ll consider trading the player, or letting them walk and getting a comp pick in the draft.

    Why don’t other teams do that? Some teams brag about winning free agency. They over spend, and get no comp picks. This partially explains why many of them remain bad.

  3. BB is shrewd. I can’t recall him ever extending any player who was still in his rookie contract. If Gronk’s the only one, then that is another big-time accolade in his HOF career.

  4. Belichick just keeps me so impressed at so many levels. Constantly. What he has done in NE is just impressive. He’s always so far ahead of the competition. We didn’t expect the Pats to go to the SB every year when the team was much better, but now we expect them to represent the AFC every year. It’s just… Astounding! I don’t get how THAT team won a SB last year. It’s just great coaching.

  5. You failed to mention that the Patriots ALSO extended Aaron Hernandez that same offseason to the tune of 7 years 40M, who was drafted 2 rounds after Gronk and also had two years of team control left.

    For me, it seems relevant that they drafted and locked up the best TE duo in NFL history at the same time.

  6. redlikethepig says:
    March 26, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Belichick is the entire story in New England.

    ___________________________________________

    And that entire story is that Belichick is 19-17 without Brady in New England and 207-60 plus 6 SB rings with him.

  7. The flip side is Gronk only started 50% of those games (48 ofn 96) over that 6 year period.

    ————————————————————–

    And he still outperformed that deal in only 48 games.

  8. Really? You think the Pats new Hernandez was a murdering fool? Had he stayed with the team we’d have 7 if not 8 rings now. The duo of TE’s was unstoppable.

  9. WHat you do is, you pay the guy MORE ahead of schedule. It’s very simple. You budget and you, what seems like overpaying.

    BB has been leading the way as the greatest GM in sports history for a long, long time.

    He’s so far ahead, even some younger Pats fans don’t get it. They’ll whine and whine some more, as BB leads the team to another SB appearance due to the best roster management in sports.

  10. gotitan says:
    March 26, 2019 at 9:04 am
    …and Hernandez……

    7 4 Rate This

    ————————–

    Ok?

    And, they took on a 9.5 mil cap hit and won the SB in 2014. What does this tell you?

    It tells an educated person two things:

    1. They had no idea Hernandez was channeling Tony Montana.
    2. They are so well run as a team, that even taking on the loss of Hernandez’s deal, NE still built a dynasty with draft picks stolen by a cheating commissioner making up stories about them.

  11. His breakout game was a primetime game at Pittsburgh his rookie year. New England was coming off a bad loss against Cleveland, and the Steelers were hot. Gronk scored 3 TDs, including an amazing catch on the opening drive and the dagger to close it out. He was an elite tight end from that moment on. Amazing career from start to finish.

  12. gimmeabruschi says:
    March 26, 2019 at 9:24 am
    redlikethepig says:
    March 26, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Belichick is the entire story in New England.

    ___________________________________________

    And that entire story is that Belichick is 19-17 without Brady in New England and 207-60 plus 6 SB rings with him.

    10 4 Rate This

    —————–

    BB drafted and DEVELOPED Brady. There’s a reason why JimmyG looked so good. You kiddies are clueless.

    Brady deserves all the credit in the world, but to pretend Brady came out as a 1st rd pick and made BB into the greatest GM and Coach ever, with BB having zero coaching affect on Brady, is cbildish and obtuse.

    Brady would be nowhere near what he is without BB. But, BB would be very successful with ANOTHER prospect he believed in, drafted and developed.

    How do you think BB coached up Cassel? The kid hadn’t played successive, competitive games since high school in 1999!!!

    The next QB BB drafts, he will spend everyday with knowing it will be Brady’s replacement.

    And you know what? That kid will be very good.

  13. thewizardsrevenge says:
    March 26, 2019 at 7:59 am
    Yet he’s never been named NFL Executive of the Year, but somehow Parcells got it with the Dolphins? On what planet does that makes sense…..

    159 7 Rate This

    —————————-

    Simple.

    The media is so jealous of his hard work and success and his lack of kissing their butts.

    When BB’s resume is read off in Canton little kids will ask how he could be the GM (with Pioli or Caserio as the underlings) and barely ever win the Exec of the Year award, when he could have won it 3 or 4 other times.

  14. Gronk played in 70/96 games during that 6 yr period, starting 62/96. With all the substitutions and game planning in FB, who starts, after the QB is almost meaningless. His production was off the charts no matter how many gms he missed. The deal was smart from the Pats perspective, but they also assumed a lot of risk with Gronk’s injury history, going back to college. 31% of the extension was guaranteed.

  15. “but we were always chasing the next contract because he was the best player. So I think we renegotiated his deal five times.”

    So why was it a smart move? It was a contract they ended up redoing 5 times in 6 years. Why not play him out for another year, sign him to a deal with one year left for 4 years and then repeat at the 3-year mark of that deal?
    Where they smart for saving some money up front, or a bad team for not paying him his market value throughout the length of the contract, or smart for making it a long deal, or bad for having to continually redo the deal to keep him and his agent happy?
    So much double talk in one article it’s hard to keep straight.

  16. jman967 says:
    March 26, 2019 at 9:51 am
    “but we were always chasing the next contract because he was the best player. So I think we renegotiated his deal five times.”

    So why was it a smart move? It was a contract they ended up redoing 5 times in 6 years. Why not play him out for another year, sign him to a deal with one year left for 4 years and then repeat at the 3-year mark of that deal?
    Where they smart for saving some money up front, or a bad team for not paying him his market value throughout the length of the contract, or smart for making it a long deal, or bad for having to continually redo the deal to keep him and his agent happy?
    So much double talk in one article it’s hard to keep straight.

    —————————————–

    You realize NE has played in 4 of the last 5 Super Bowls, correct?

    You realize they’ve gone to 8 straight conf title games, right?

    You realize Gronk is a HOFer, right? Why don’t you ask why your team doesn’t have a GM that tries to mirror how BB does it? Why do you insist this is some better way, when everyone knows, after almost 20 years, there isn’t one?

    Who cares if they used their leverage on Grok based on time missed to re-do his deal?

    They have won 3 SBs in the last 5 years even with your team colluding with Goodell to make up stories to steal their picks.

  17. “Enough with the meat-head story’s, i could see if it was Brady retiring or another superstar but this is too much.”

    Gronk was a superstar and you better get used to it because these stories are not going away. Pats draft a TE or 2? There will be stories comparing the new guys to Gronk. Pats TEs playing well, average or bad early in the season? Stories will compare them to Gronk. This will go on constantly so you can stop reading them or keep crying, but they’re coming all year long.

    Lolz

  18. @tylaw

    You realize that my post was in regard to the big man’s double talk in his post. You realize that he fawns over anything NE does as perfect, while lauding the same moves as other teams as poor and laughable.
    You realize that it took almost a decade of torrid dominance for the Pats to catch up to what the Steelers had accomplished a decade ago?
    You better hold on hard to that bandwagon son, it’s about to get bumpy.

  19. The Pats don’t do contracts like the steelers. This way they don’t have to pay 21.5 mil to a guy that plays for Oakland. Or losing one of the best RBs in the league because they didn’t want to fully guarantee any money after the 1rst yr. Now that’s laughable.

  20. stucats says:
    March 26, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Enough with the meat-head story’s, i could see if it was Brady retiring or another superstar but this is too much.

    ===

    Jealous much?

  21. u4iadman says:
    March 26, 2019 at 10:39 am
    Remember, BB proven to have cheated many times….so no goat.

    ————

    No coach cheated more or as often as my team’s coach. Coach Shula

  22. stucats says:
    March 26, 2019 at 8:05 am
    Enough with the meat-head story’s, i could see if it was Brady retiring or another superstar but this is too much.
    —————————————–

    You do realize you’re not obliged to click the link or comment right? As scary as it may be you are the ultimate arbiter of the media you consume.

  23. 8oneanddones says:
    March 26, 2019 at 9:42 am
    His breakout game was a primetime game at Pittsburgh his rookie year. New England was coming off a bad loss against Cleveland, and the Steelers were hot. Gronk scored 3 TDs, including an amazing catch on the opening drive and the dagger to close it out. He was an elite tight end from that moment on. Amazing career from start to finish.

    ————————-

    And, that was also a game where you could see HOW they lost SB 46 the next year shouldn’t have ever happened, even without Gronk.

    That game was representative of the old school Brady, like in this year’s postseason for example, where a run game was actually used.

    The one parallel between all of the games they lost that they clearly threw away, was that they ignored the attempt to even establish a run game.

    In 2 years starting, Green-Ellis, when he was the true lead back in the gameplan, NE never lost.

    In that game, Green-Ellis had 18 carries for 87 yards.

    In SB 46, he had 7 with a late obligatory carry.

  24. thewizardsrevenge says:
    March 26, 2019 at 7:59 am
    Yet he’s never been named NFL Executive of the Year, but somehow Parcells got it with the Dolphins? On what planet does that makes sense…..

    None in this sector of the galaxy. Parcells was an overrated blowhard who quit on NE during a SB run. Scott Norwood made him famous. How’d he do in Dallas or Miami or NY? Mediocre.

  25. jman967 says:
    March 26, 2019 at 10:32 am
    @tylaw

    You realize that my post was in regard to the big man’s double talk in his post. You realize that he fawns over anything NE does as perfect, while lauding the same moves as other teams as poor and laughable.
    You realize that it took almost a decade of torrid dominance for the Pats to catch up to what the Steelers had accomplished a decade ago?
    You better hold on hard to that bandwagon son, it’s about to get bumpy.

    1 9 Rate This

    —————————–

    Season tickets in my family since ’78, little boy.

    Your jealousy and PDS (Pats Derangement Syndrome) will consume you for years to come.

  26. The guy should have about 78 million in the bank!! But Bill got ahold of Gronk!! And the rest is history. Never cashed a NFL check WOW!!! Just used his advertisement money. Well just watching Gronk talk you wouldn’t know that he is that smart. Good job Gronk!! Have a relaxing retirement.

  27. Yet he’s never been named NFL Executive of the Year, but somehow Parcells got it with the Dolphins? On what planet does that makes sense…..
    —————————————–
    Parcells has also NEVER made it past the divisional round without BB on his staff.

  28. “Remember, BB proven to have cheated many times….so no goat.”

    Actually he’s been “proven to have cheated” exactly once by having a video camera 30′ out of position in the age of the zoom lens for 1/2 of 1 game. As if the cam being 30′ farther away and zoomed in to offset that distance make the slightest bit of difference.

    SMH

  29. “Season tickets in my family since ’78, little boy.

    Your jealousy and PDS (Pats Derangement Syndrome) will consume you for years to come.”

    Trust me, I’m not so concerned about entertainment that a team causes me mental anxiety.
    Lolz, “in my family”. Does your uncle ever let you have his tickets to go to the game, junior?

  30. jman967 says:
    March 26, 2019 at 11:06 am
    “Season tickets in my family since ’78, little boy.

    Your jealousy and PDS (Pats Derangement Syndrome) will consume you for years to come.”

    Trust me, I’m not so concerned about entertainment that a team causes me mental anxiety.
    Lolz, “in my family”. Does your uncle ever let you have his tickets to go to the game, junior?

    0 0 Rate This

    ————————–

    Absolutely. Usually once a year since I am out of market anyway and travel a lot for work. And, when I inherit the incredibly hard to acquire tickets on the 40 yard line, I will think you nozzles like yourself wondering why their owner blows, their GM blows and their coach blows.

  31. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 26, 2019 at 11:04 am
    “Remember, BB proven to have cheated many times….so no goat.”

    Actually he’s been “proven to have cheated” exactly once by having a video camera 30′ out of position in the age of the zoom lens for 1/2 of 1 game. As if the cam being 30′ farther away and zoomed in to offset that distance make the slightest bit of difference.

    SMH

    1 0 Rate This

    —————————–

    Hilariously, mocking Mangini is not even “cheating”. It’s mocking an arrogant, former protege.

    Tomlin tripping a player or trying to trip a player is clearly the far worse violation.

  32. “I will think you nozzles like yourself wondering why their owner blows, their GM blows and their coach blows.”

    Travel alot eh?
    Maybe you should pick up a “Sentence Structure for Dummies” book to read on your long haul trucking route Chief.

  33. Belichick has made his share of mistakes in the draft and free agency, but he’s excellent at evaluating his own players
    ——————————-
    what an idiotic, backhanded, semi-compliment from a know-nothing, second-guessing blogger directed at the greatest GM of all time.

  34. So will Drew Rosenhaus go the route of Hank Haney? Every conversation by Haney includes him discussing Woods. Rosenhaus is now on the media circuit talking about Gronk. Your client is now retired.

  35. Wish my team drafted and thought this way. The Patriots drafted Gronk then locked him up for six years before he became the all-pro Hall of Fame stud. Genius.

  36. 1. Gronk is no meat head. He plays a goofball, but is very smart both with football and living off his endorsements so he has $53M in the bank.

    2. Bill and Tom and responsible for the Pats success. Without Bill we may have never heard of Tom. Without Tom who had the game winning drive in the 4th Q or OT in every Super Bowl they won Bill may have no or fewer rings with the Pats.

    3. If Gronk wasn’t held down he may have caught the hail mary and won the Super Bowl against the Eagles.

    4. The Pats have surpassed what the Steelers did. It took the Steelers two different eras to win 6 rings. Bradshaw 4 and Rothlisberger 2. Pats have 6 with Brady alone.

    5. There is no evidence Belichik cheated. The one thing there’s proof of is spygate. Cheating is doing something secretly to get an advantage. Spy gate was filming from the wrong location in front of 65,000 people. That’s a rule infraction not cheating. The worst cheating is PEDs but literally every team has been busted for that so you don’t hear about it.

  37. jman967 says:
    March 26, 2019 at 11:29 am
    “I will think you nozzles like yourself wondering why their owner blows, their GM blows and their coach blows.”

    Travel alot eh?
    Maybe you should pick up a “Sentence Structure for Dummies” book to read on your long haul trucking route Chief.

    2 6 Rate This

    —————

    yeah, I’m busy there, little guy

    don’t have time to proofread and don’t care

    maybe try reading Pats Management Secrets Vol 1, which has been out for 15 years, and then get back to me

    enjoy being a moron!

  38. “yeah, I’m busy there, little guy

    don’t have time to proofread and don’t care

    maybe try reading Pats Management Secrets Vol 1, which has been out for 15 years, and then get back to me

    enjoy being a moron”

    Pats Management Secrets #1: Give Kraft a hand for jerking BB away from the Jets to avoid the Pats sucking and/or blowing for the remainder of their existence

    Volume #2: How to Pay People Off is coming out in the fall, right?

    I hope you enjoy those 6 Lombardi’s as much as Steeler Nation has been enjoying them for the past decade tinkerbell.

  39. Yet he’s never been named NFL Executive of the Year, but somehow Parcells got it with the Dolphins? On what planet does that makes sense…
    ———————–
    Farcell’s was also given media awards for entertaining press conferences. Always the showman, but a lifetime losing record without belichick to coach his team for him.

  40. Of the 32 teams in the NFL, 31 would have made the same move. The Browns would have failed.

    Bill is a great coach, but let’s not overdo it. Whose behind is every writer going to kiss when Brady and Bill retire next year after their 5-11 season?

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