The New England Patriots have restructured tight end Rob Gronkowski’s contract to boost his potential 2018 earnings by $4.3 million, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Gronkowski has a base salary of $8 million and can earn up to $1 million in roster bonuses if he is active for all 16 games, with $3.3 million achievable in additional incentives. The new deal has a max value of $13.05 million this year.
The incentives will pay Gronkowski $1.1 million for hitting each of the following benchmarks (maxing out at three benchmarks for $3.3 million): playing 80 percent of the offensive snaps, making at least 70 catches, gaining at least 1,085 receiving yards or scoring at least nine touchdowns. The latter three figures are each exactly one unit more than he had in 2017 (69 catches, 1,084 yards, eight TDs).
The restructure marks the second consecutive year in which the Patriots have boosted Gronkowski’s deal through incentives, and he made an extra $5.5 million last year after garnering his fourth career first-team All-Pro nod. A tweak to the deal — much like quarterback Tom Brady has had in recent years — was expected after the tight end missed the team’s voluntary offseason workouts.
Gronkowski is scheduled to make $9 million in base salary and $1 million in roster and workout bonuses in 2019, the final year of his contract. If the Patriots choose to make a similar restructure next year, they will have to do so after Aug. 30, 2019, as incentives cannot be added to a contract multiple times within a one-year span.
Entering his ninth season, the 29-year-old flirted with the idea of retirement this offseason and is believed to be considering a future in Hollywood. He hasn’t played in 16 games in a season since 2012, but he has reached at least 14 in three of the last four years.
Gronkowski has 474 catches for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns in his career. He needs four more TD catches to move into third place all-time among tight ends, behind only Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.
–Field Level Media