Rob Gronkowski

Patriots Shopped Gronk To Four Teams

The Patriots deny having shopped Rob Gronkowski this offseason, but evidence to the contrary is mounting. The Pats engaged in trade talks with the Lions, Titans, Texans, and 49ers, Albert Breer of The MMQB told FS1 (transcription via NESN). 

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Recently, we learned the Patriots were discussing deals involving Gronk as recently as three days before the draft. Meanwhile, Mike Florio of PFT hears from a league source that the Patriots had conversations with more clubs than the four listed by Breer. However, a deal was never close enough for the Pats to talk to the tight end about the possibility. When Gronk put the retirement rumors to rest in April, it seems that the trade discussions were also 86’d.

Breer hears that the Patriots only discussed a potential Gronkowski trade with teams they “trust.” The tentacles of the Patriots extend to all four teams: Lions GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia used to work for the Pats, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien previously served as the Pats’ offensive coordinator, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played for the Pats and GM Jon Robinson spent more than ten years in New England, and Bill Belichick has a solid relationship with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

For now, it seems like Gronk is staying put, but the Patriots weren’t entirely truthful when they threw water on the latest round of trade rumors. The two sides will likely hammer out a revised contract between now and the start of the season, but it’s still a situation worth monitoring.

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Patriots Discussed Gronk Trade

Patriots owner Robert Kraft says last week’s trade buzz surrounding Rob Gronkowski was nothing but “hogwash.” However, it sounds like the Patriots did explore trading the tight end earlier in the offseason. The Pats were calling other teams about a possible Gronkowski trade as recently as three days before the draft, a league source tells Mike Florio of PFT

Incidentally, Gronkowski decided against retirement just two days before the draft, so one can’t help but wonder if the two events were related. It’s not clear how close the Patriots were to trading Gronkowski in the spring, or what they were seeking, but the notion of trading the tight end has at least been considered in New England.

In 2017, Gronk was on the field for 14 games, and managed 69 receptions, 1,084 yards, and eight touchdowns, all of which placed him within the top five among tight ends. When healthy, he is the most fearsome offensive weapon at his position and among the most dynamic talents in the game.

Gronk, who is signed through the 2019 campaign, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $8MM in 2018. New England has reportedly been working on “tweaking” his deal, but nothing has been agreed upon just yet.

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Pats Owner: “No Truth” To Gronk Trade Talk

The internet was abuzz with unsubstantiated rumors of Rob Gronkowski potentially being traded last week. On Tuesday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft felt compelled to set the record straight and let everyone know that such talk was “hogwash.” 

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Kraft even went so far as to say “that was never in the works…that was just completely made up.” One could be forgiven for being skeptical about that part of Kraft’s statement. After Gronkowski threatened to retire in the offseason – potentially because of his unhappiness with the “Patriot Way” – it would have made sense for the Patriots to explore a Gronkowski trade.

Although Gronkowski (and Tom Brady) reported to the Pats last week, the duo is not expected to reappear for team practices until July. Between now and September, you can expect the Pats and Gronkowski to discuss some revisions to the tight end’s contract. If those talks don’t produce results, the Gronk trade speculation could pick up once again.

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Latest On Brady, Gronkowski

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski reported to the Patriots last week, but they won’t be around for the team’s remaining practices in the month of June. The two stars are not slated to take part in the final few OTAs this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. With that, Brady and Gronk are not expected to report to the club until July when training camp gets underway.

The arrival of the two players last week was viewed as a positive sign for their relationships with the team and their contractual situations. To date, neither player has received a new deal, and it’s still not clear whether that is part of Brady’s agenda. A revised pact seems likely for the tight end, though nothing is imminent on that front.

For all of the rumors of discord in New England, there is every reason to believe that both players will be in uniform for the team in September. A new round of trade speculation circled around Gronkowski last week, but there’s no basis for such talk.

Brady, predictably, has said very little about reports of a rift between him and coach Bill Belichick.

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Latest On Patriots, Rob Gronkowski

A new contract for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is “likely,” a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. However, “nothing is imminent” on that front. 

[RELATED: Gronk Addresses Trade Rumors]

It has been expected that the Pats and Gronk would reach an accord similar to the one from 2017. Last year, Gronk’s deal was revised to give him a base salary of $5.25MM with opportunities to earn incentives at three different levels. With a First-Team All-Pro selection, Gronk maxed out his bonus package at $10.75MM.

This time around, Gronkowski’s camp may push for a meld of incentives and a boost to his base compensation. After all, Gronk did return from his injury-shortened 2016 to rack up more than 1,000 yards receiving and eight touchdowns while also coming up big in two of the Patriots’ three postseason contests. Gronkowski has already vowed to put his dreams of acting and pro wrestling on the back burner, but a sweetened deal may help to keep his focus on the field in 2018.

Six years ago this week, the Patriots and Gronk agreed to a deal to make him the highest-paid tight end in league history. Gronk stands to carry the highest cap number of any tight end in the league this year, but you can expect the two sides to boost that number even further in the coming weeks.

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Latest On Rob Gronkowski Trade Rumors

On Friday morning, Twitter became flooded with rumors of a potential Rob Gronkowski trade. However, it appears that Patriots fans can breathe easy. There is “zero truth” to rumblings of the Patriots trading Gronkowski, a source tells Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston (on Twitter). 

[On This Date In 2012: Gronkowski, Patriots Agree To Record-Setting Six-Year Extension]

At Pro Football Rumors, we typically do not go out of our way to address rumors from unsubstantiated sources, but the word of a potential Gronkowski trade has dominated the Twittersphere for several hours. Given the Patriots’ history of embracing the next-man-up mentality, a trade of the most dominant tight end in the game would be a surprise, but hardly an impossibility.

Gronkowski stayed away for much of the Patriots’ voluntary offseason team activities this year in an apparent effort to have his contract reworked. His arrival in Foxboro this week seemed to signal that a resolution was on the horizon, but the two sides have yet to hammer out a revised deal. Gronkowski’s brief flirtation with retirement this offseason could also be a signal that the “Patriot Way” has grown tiresome for him.

One source who has been with the Patriots for years told Curran (Twitter link) the team’s treatment of Gronk at the start of 2017 was similar to how other players have been treated before being dealt. Of course, that doesn’t mean a whole lot in and of itself, and the tight end was not traded last year.

So, for now, we can put the Gronkowski trade rumors to rest. While major trades are more commonplace than ever in the NFL and Bill Belichick‘s methodology remains unpredictable, there’s no reason to believe that Gronkowski will be in another uniform in 2018.

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This Date In Transactions History: Rob Gronkowski

Six years ago, Rob Gronkowski inked the most lucrative deal for a tight end in NFL history. The Patriots tacked another six years on to the two remaining seasons of his rookie contract at $54MM, locking him down through the 2019 campaign. 

The deal made plenty of sense for both sides at the time. The pact included $13MM fully guaranteed and $18MM guaranteed for injury, which provided the 23-year-old with financial security early in his career. Through his first two NFL seasons, the former second-round pick made less than $2.5MM in total.

Meanwhile, the Patriots locked down a tight end coming off of a First-Team All-Pro selection. Although he impressed as a rookie, Gronk took his game to a new level in 2011 as he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 72.6%. Even today, those numbers stand as Gronk’s career bests.

A broken forearm sidelined Gronkowski for five games in 2012. Shortly after returning, he re-aggravated the injury in the Pats’ first playoff game and missed out on the AFC Championship game. In the offseason, the forearm became infected, forcing the tight end to undergo the third and fourth surgeries of his career. In June of 2013, he had back surgery. Then, in a late-season contest against the Browns, he suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. Gronk was undoubtedly grateful for his injury guarantees at that time.

There were more ailments to come, including a less serious knee injury in 2015 and a pulmonary contusion in 2016, but Gronkowski continued to be one of the very best at his position. Meanwhile, the salary cap continued to grow and the tight end market advanced. Over time, Gronk’s record-setting deal started to look more and more team-friendly. In 2014, Jimmy Graham signed a deal that made him the league’s highest-paid tight end with an average annual average value of $10MM and $16.5MM in full guarantees.

Eventually, something had to give. Prior to the 2017 season, the Pats tweaked Gronk’s deal to incentivize his performance while protecting the team against another injury-marred season. The deal gave him a base salary of $5.25MM with incentive packages at three different tiers:

  • A total salary of $10.75MM with either 90% play time or 80 catches or 1,200‪ receiving yards or an All-Pro nomination.
  • A total salary $8.75MM with 80% play time or 70 catches or 1,000 receiving yards or 12 touchdowns.
  • A total salary of $6.75MM with 70% play time or 60 receptions or 800 receiving yards or ten touchdowns.

With 1,084 yards (off of 69 receptions with eight touchdowns), Gronkowski satisfied the middle tier requirement. However, thanks to his First-Team All-Pro selection, the tight end maxed out his 2017 package.

Gronk still has two years to go on the deal he inked in 2012 and the Patriots will probably have to sweeten the pot for him again. The tight end has decided that acting and/or pro wrestling can wait, but his absence from early-season OTAs likely signals his desire for an improved contract. In the coming weeks, it’s likely that Gronkowski will receive yet another upgrade to separate him even further from the rest of the tight end pack.

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East Notes: Eagles, Wentz, Pats, Gronk

Good news for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Based on what he is hearing, ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (Twitter link) believes that Wentz will be ready for the team’s season opener.

All offseason long, the Eagles have been hoping that Wentz would be ready for Week 1. Of course, after his late-season ACL and LCL tears, the team is taking a cautious approach to his recovery. So far, Wentz has looked sharp in OTAs, so he should be ready to retake his spot as the team’s starting QB in September.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • There was a great deal of retirement talk surrounding Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason, but that’s all in the rear view mirror now. “I had to see where my body was at and where my mind was at. But now I’m out here, and I feel good,” Gronk said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Darlington). “I feel like I definitely made the right decision coming back out. Mind and body. That’s what it has always been about. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. On Tuesday, Gronk and Tom Brady both reported to the Patriots for OTAs.
  • Jets tight end Chris Herndon, who was arrested Saturday, was on the practice field on Tuesday (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post). It remains to be seen whether he’ll face league discipline or whether the DUI charge will impact his status with the team.
  • The Giants announced that GM Dave Gettleman is set to undergo treatment for lymphoma. “Recently, I underwent an annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma. Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future,” Gettleman said in a statement. “The doctor’s outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I. I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with Pat (Shurmur), Kevin (Abrams) and the rest of our staff.”

Tom Brady, Gronk Report To Patriots

As expected, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were on hand for the Patriots’ Tuesday morning practices. The two stars previously stayed away from voluntary offseason team activities, but it appears that all parties are now on the same page. 

It is widely believed that Gronkowski was abstaining from OTAs in order to push the Patriots for a new contract. No new deal has been reached yet, but that’s likely forthcoming. Gronk, who is signed through the 2019 campaign, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $8MM in 2018, but New England has been working on “tweaking” his deal. The Patriots are expected to add some sort of incentive package to Gronkowski’s pact, as they did last year.

The circumstances behind Brady’s absence are not quite as clear. It has been speculated that the quarterback is angling for a new deal and/or is at odds with head coach coach Bill Belichick. Brady has not confirmed such talk and owner Robert Kraft did his best to sweep those rumors under the rug. Belichick, predictably, has been mum on the subject.

Last year, Brady led the NFL in passing yards en route to his third MVP trophy. While the rumors of discord will continue to swirl in New England, Brady will look to capture his sixth Super Bowl trophy this season.

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Rob Gronkowski Confirms He’ll Attend Patriots Minicamp

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn’t attend voluntary workout sessions last month, but he will show up for mandatory minicamp next week, as he confirmed to reporters at a charity event on Sunday, per CBS Boston.

“We’ve got mandatory minicamp this week,” Gronkowski said. “So I’ll be there this week. I’ll be full go. I’m looking forward to it. Can’t wait to get back to work. I’m excited.”

While Gronkowski hasn’t publicly addressed his motivation behind skipping organized team activities, his contract situation is likely a key factor. Gronk, who is signed through the 2019 campaign, is scheduled to earn an $8MM base salary in 2018, but New England is reportedly working on “tweaking” his deal. The Patriots are expected to add some sort of incentive package to Gronkowski’s pact, as they did in 2017.

Gronkowski, of course, has had an eventful offseason, and reportedly considered retirement after battling a variety of health issues. In 2017, Gronk was on the field for 14 games, and managed 69 receptions, 1,084 yards, and eight touchdowns, all of which placed him within the top-five among tight ends.

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