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The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Happy Gronk Equals Happy Days in Foxboro

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski playfully points out how the contract extension he signed with the Patriots in 2012 had a built-in option to keep him in New England, preventing him from moving on to a more profitable arrangement with another team. 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski playfully points out how the contract extension he signed with the Patriots in 2012 had a built-in option to keep him in New England, preventing him from moving on to a more profitable arrangement with another team. 

For a few years now, New England Patriots fans have had the privilege of saying that the best tight end in the National Football League plays his home games in Foxboro. Since being drafted in 2010, Rob Gronkowski has garnered a reputation in the league for being a dominant and unstoppable force on the field. Though struggling with injuries a little bit, he has managed to stay healthy as of late and even helped New England to a Super Bowl win over Seattle just last year. It is not unfair for a four time Pro Bowl TE to expect to get paid by his team, but Pats fans always thought Gronk would be here no matter what. Recently, Pats fans got a nice reminder that in the end, the NFL is a business, and Gronkowski treats it as such.
When free agency opened on March 6, many teams were trying to get better by signing unrestricted free agents of other teams. In the six year deal negotiated back in 2012, the Patriots had to pick up an option this year that would carry the deal for another four years. If New England didn’t, Gronkowski would hit the market and be subject to teams with a lot more spending money being able to entice the tight end. From the Pats’ perspective, they simply had to pick up that option, and then leave the doors open for exclusive negotiations with the tight end. However, from Gronk’s point of view, the Patriots are known for letting deals play out near the end — look no further than their handling of Vince Wilfork on his rookie contract.
You can empathize a little with Gronkowski in terms of his fear that he will be underpaid with how much he does for the Patriots on the field. Off the field he has garnered the reputation of partying a lot and not carrying himself professionally, but he really doesn’t do anything that has really hurt the reputation of the Patriots organization. He has brought a light hearted spirit to the team that has shown that you don’t have to have the stoic personality of Bill Belichick (who is about as lively as a starfish) to have success on this team and the NFL as a whole. Gronkowski is just seeking out what he deserves according to the market and trying to be proactive in getting his desired contract. Though maybe his means aren’t the most appropriate of a player well-liked by his team and fans, perhaps it was the only bargaining chip he had to put out there. The best option for the Pats is to find a way to maintain positive relations with one of their best players because in the end, keeping him happy with this team is what is best for both sides.