Of all of the Patriots‘ team-friendly deals, their pact with Rob Gronkowski stands as their best contract, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Gronk is currently in the middle of a six-year, $54MM deal with just $13.2MM guaranteed. That contract looks better and better for the Patriots as the star tight end continues to dominate and lesser tight ends cash in elsewhere. The Pats extended Gronk under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement in which you could lengthen a rookie’s deal after just his second season in the NFL. The Patriots realized that they had a star in the making in the University of Arizona product and pounced at a time when he was willing to trade in upside for security. Now, the Patriots have Gronkowski at a below-market price as they control him until the age of 30.
Here’s more from the AFC East:
- More from Fitzgerald, who writes that the Patriots‘ worst contract is the one belonging to offensive tackle Marcus Cannon. The 28-year-old is a versatile player, but Fitzgerald doesn’t understand why New England felt the need to give him a two-year, $8.5MM deal with $3.2MM guaranteed. On the plus side, the Pats only guaranteed Cannon’s signing bonus, so they can cut him after one year and move on, if necessary.
- Guard Brian Winters has to prove a lot this season if he wants to have a future with the Jets beyond 2016, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. Winters, who was ranked just No. 62 among qualified guards last year by Pro Football Focus, is slated to open the year as the starting right guard without any real competition pushing him for the job. However, this is the final year of his rookie deal and his return is far from guaranteed if he does not excel.
- Earlier today, we learned that the Dolphins still have two veteran safeties on speed dial in case things go south with Reshad Jones again.
- On Tuesday, Bills ownership spoke out about the league’s push for a new stadium and Marcell Dareus offered up some contract advice for teammate Stephon Gilmore.