Pats, Gronkowski agree to six-year extension 01:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, June 9, 2012 By PAUL KENYON Journal Sports Writer
It turns out that Rob Gronkowski is not a totally wild and crazy guy after all. He does have a conservative side.
The Patriots’ tight end showed Friday that when it comes to money he is willing to take the safe road and put it in hand now, rather than gamble and try to make an even bigger score later in his career.
Gronkowski and the Patriots agreed to a somewhat unusual contract, one that will keep the talented and outgoing player in Foxboro through 2019. According to numerous NFL sources, the deal is a six-year extension that could pay Gronkowski $54 million.
As someone many view as the best tight end in football, the numbers seem relatively modest. If Gronkowski, 23, played out the next two seasons under his rookie contract, he would have made just over $500,000 this coming season and $700,000 in 2013. He then would have had the right to become a free agent where, assuming he continues playing the way he has been, he would figure to command monster money.
That assumes, though, that all goes well. As it is, Gronkowski has had injury problems. A sprained left ankle left him hobbled for the Super Bowl in February and he still has not been able to get back on the field. Gronkowski also had back issues that limited his playing time at the University of Arizona and was a key factor in his fall to the second round of the 2010 draft.
Gronkowski is pleased by progress report By Michael Whitmer Globe Staff / August 17, 2012
FOXBOROUGH — Rob Gronkowski didn’t miss a game after getting injured in last season’s AFC Championship win over Baltimore. He played in Super Bowl XLVI, and was back on the field six months later for the Patriots’ preseason opener against New Orleans.
In between, he had surgery for the ankle injury, rehabbed vigorously, posed naked for a magazine cover, and signed a six-year contract extension that could be worth $55 million.
He had a long way to go to get back on the field after getting hurt, but he seems happy with his progress.
“Every day you’re going out there and you want to improve,” Gronkowski said after Thursday’s full-pads practice. “From the beginning of the camp to this day, I feel like I’ve improved a lot from where I started.
“It’s just great going out, competing against everyone. Going out there every single day, you get the speed of the game down more, you get the chemistry down with the quarterbacks more.”