By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
A series of new reports shed more light on Rob Gronkowski’s plans for the remainder of the New England Patriots’ offseason, and when to expect the All-Pro tight end to return to the practice field.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed on Monday that Gronkowski, along with Tom Brady, will not attend the remainder of organized team activities this week in Foxboro. Then, Jeff Howe of The Athletic followed up tweeting that he believes Gronkowski “didn’t want to risk an injury at the voluntary workouts before finalizing his contract.”
That last part, of course, hasn’t taken place yet. And according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Monday, a new deal for Gronkowski is “likely,” but “nothing is imminent.”
Gronkowski told reporters after mandatory minicamp on Tuesday that he’s “trying to” rework his contract with the Patriots, and added “Who wouldn’t?” when asked if he wanted to get it done before the start of the 2018 season. He’s currently signed for the next two seasons at base salaries of $8 million and $9 million.
When Will He Sign?
Rapoport’s original tweet implies that Gronkowski will have agreed to a new contract by the time Patriots training camp kicks off in late July. But that leaves only about 5-6 weeks for the two sides to get a deal done.
It may not be ideal for football purposes for Gronkowski to skip the rest of OTAs. It certainly isn’t best for the team to miss Brady. But considering Gronkowski’s particularly long history of serious injuries, and the fact that he’s been hurt during offseason workouts before, it’s not the worst thing for both sides to keep the prized tight end off the field until he’s needed. He likely won’t play much, if at all, in the preseason, anyway.
But it’s only become more clear that Gronk’s absence from non-mandatory workouts is stemming almost entirely from concerns about his contract. The questions are when it finally gets done, and how much money the Patriots guarantee him in the end.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.