By , Nunzio Ingrassia
Published May 23, 2017
The New England Patriots busy offseason continued Tuesday, when they reportedly agreed to restructure star tight end Rob Gronkowskis current contract, adding a number of incentives that could make him the highest-paid tight end in the league.
According to agent Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowskis 2017 salary could possibly go from $5.25 million to as high as $10.75 million if he meets certain criteria. The 28-year-old, who played in only eight games last year after suffering a season-ending back injury, would have to either be on the field for 90 percent of next season or finish the year with at least 80 catches or 1,200 receiving yards or be named to the Pro Bowl.
If he fails to reach those numbers, he can still earn $8.75 million if hes available for 80 percent of the 2017 season or hauls in 70 catches or 1,000 receiving yards or 12 touchdowns. The third tier in his new contract would net the four-time Pro Bowl tight end $6.75 million if he reaches 70 percent playing time or 60 receptions or 800 receiving yards or 10 touchdowns.
For context, Gronks playing time percentage last season was 31.5 percent, down from 84.2 percent in 2015.
The final two years of Gronkowski's current six-year, $54 million deal will be untouched. He is scheduled to earn $9 million in 2018 and $10 million in 2019.
When healthy, Gronkowski has proven to be one of the best tight ends in the league. He scored 23 touchdowns in 2014 and 2015 combined, when he missed just one game in each of those seasons. But he was limited to just seven games in 2013 and eight games last season due to a number of injuries.
Tuesday's news is just the latest offseason move by the defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal and acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the Saints in a trade, two of their splashier transactions since the start of free agency.