a blog by La Kifo
Whether you see it or not, a lot of parts are moving during the opening week of training camp. Whether that be trades, surprise cuts, or movement across the depth chart, it is happening and happening fast.
This one caught me off guard. In 2012 Rob Gronkowski was given a 6 year $54 million contract. At the time, the largest contract in NFL history for a Tight End. Yet, as we've seen more young positional talent among Gronks peers, we've seen contracts for Tight Ends balloon. Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, Julius Thomas, Jordan Reed have all inked deals giving them annual salaries larger than Gronkowski's. Zach Ertz, and Charles Clay added and Travis Kelce subtracted to that list would be Tight Ends who were given more guaranteed money than Gronk.
That is a long list of names to be behind for a player like Gronk. A player who transcends his position, a guy who is simply the best. With major speculation involved, I figure that Rob has lost sight of how grandiose his contract was but I won't blame him. Theoretically, Gronk should be paid as the highest Tight End in league. Yet, this isn't Basketball, or Baseball where teams throw money at the best available free agents.
Gronkowski will have to play out the remainder of his deal or hold out for a new one. The Patriots won't trade him with years left on his contract, as no one should. Also, the Patriots in Bills eyes have already shelled out the big money pay day to Gronkowski and were expecting some of that money back in their next contract negotiations. Bill probably hates the idea of extending Gronkowski more money at this juncture, but if he wants to keep his Tight End, the money will have to flow.
Ending comments and questions, Martellus Bennett is two years older than Gronk (29), and shows a lot of similar abilities. Is Bennett a back up policy for the Patriots, in case the Gronk contract situation goes code red? Or is he a rental? Considering his contract is up after the 2017 season. This offseason has felt like an offensively focused one. Signings of Chris Hogan, Clay Harbor, Donald Brown, and Nate Washington paired with the trade for Martellus Bennett as well as the drafting of Joe Thuney (3rd round), Malcom Mitchell (4th round), and Devin Lucien (7th round) have convinced me of that. Are they adding up offensive weapons in case Gronk wants out of New England? I highly doubt that last one, mainly just because I don't want to believe it and if they were going to do that, Nate Washington, Donald Brown, and Clay Harbor wouldn't be Gronks replacements. Another question I have about the additions on the offensive side, are they loading up in the final years of Bradys career?
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