Patriots add $4.3 million in incentives to Rob Gronkowski’s deal
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Now Rob Gronkowski can really focus on football.
Just two days after the Patriots’ All-Pro tight end said a contract adjustment was “not really my focus,” he received just that.
Gronkowski signed a revised deal Thursday that could add another $4.3 million to his 2018 payout, giving him the potential for a $13.3 million haul for the season.
Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the deal and also posted on Instagram a picture of a smiling Gronkowski putting pen to paper with the caption, “congrats on contract number 5!”
This marks the third time this preseason the Patriots have addressed contracts. They added $5 million in incentives to quarterback Tom Brady’s deal, and on Tuesday they signed right guard Shaq Mason to a five-year, $50 million extension, according to a league source.
In addition, ESPN reported that fellow tight end Dwayne Allen’s compensation will be reduced after he “agreed to a reworked contract.” Allen, who is also represented by Rosenhaus, was scheduled to make $4.5 million, with a $5 million cap hit.
It’s the second straight year that Gronkowski, who is in his ninth season, has had his deal adjusted prior to the season.
Gronkowski can earn an extra $1 million just by playing in all 16 games. He played in 14 last season, missing one because of injury and one because of suspension.
Gronkowski can earn another $3.3 million by reaching three of the following four plateaus:
■ $1.1 million for 70 catches
■ $1.1 million for 1,085 receiving yards
■ $1.1 million for 80 percent of playing time
■ $1.1 million for 9 touchdown catches
He finished the 2017 season just shy of all those parameters, with 69 catches for 1,084 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 79 percent of snaps.
Gronkowski, who hit all of his incentives last season to boost his salary from $5.25 million to $10.75 million, hinted Tuesday that he’s poised to top that production.
“I just love playing the game,” he said. “I feel good right now. I definitely feel, like, 100 times better than I did last year during training camp. When you’re feeling good, you love playing the game.’’
In the immediate aftermath of New England’s loss in Super Bowl LII last February, Gronkowski indicated that retirement had crossed his mind. He said in the spring that he needed to get his body right to make a final decision.
“I feel good enough to where I thought I could come back, go throughout the whole season, go throughout camp, and just keep playing the game be enjoying it,” he said this week. “That’s how it’s been, and when you’re enjoying the game, when you’re feeling good, you just love playing the game.”
The affable tight end was asked this week about Odell Beckham Jr.’s whopping $95 million deal with the Giants, and in his answer, it almost sounded as though he could have been describing himself.
“He’s a great player,” said Gronkowski. “He comes up clutch in many situations and just his talent is second to none. It’s always good to see guys like that, that got that talent — I’m in for the players always. I mean, I’m a player, so it’s good to see that.’’
Neither Beckham nor Gronkowski, who has played just two series in the preseason but has attended 100 percent of the camp practices, was expected to play in Thursday night’s exhibition finale.