Rob Gronkowski hopes Martellus Bennett 'breaks the bank' in free agency

Martellus Bennett came over to New England in a trade that didn't cost the Patriots all that much. His value during their Super Bowl run was immeasurable, especially considering Rob Gronkowski missed most of the season.

Now, he'll hit free agency as a Super Bowl champion and is looking to cash in. It remains to be seen if the Patriots will be the team to pay him like a top tight end, but Gronkowski hopes someone does.

He has a good reason for that, too.

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"I'm hoping that he breaks the bank," Gronkowski said at the Daytona 500, via ESPN. "Whenever you see a tight end break the bank, it's good for the industry; it's good for the position. You want to see the position grow."

As crazy as it sounds, it's entirely possible Bennett makes more than Gronk next season. That was the case in 2016 with Bennett's base salary being $5.1 million compared to Gronkowski's $2.25 million.

Gronkowski makes more annually ($9 million), but Bennett is set to cash in on the open market this offseason. After putting together a very strong 2016 season, a team could be tempted to add the versatile tight end by way of a lucrative long-term deal.

It doesn't sound like that would bother Gronkowski, even if it means leaving the Patriots.

"I want to see him do whatever he's got to do," Gronkowski said. "I don't make the calls."