Patscap breaks down Rob Gronkowski’s restructure

Miguel Benzan
May 23, 2017 at 7:25 pm ET

On May 23, 2017 ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on his FaceBook page
‪”Specific details on Rob Gronkowski’s new deal with Patriots, per @RosenhausSports:‬
‪1st tier, which gets him to $10.75M either 90 percent play time or 80 catches or 1200 receiving yards or All Pro — and he’s made all pro four times.‬
‪2nd tier to $8.75M: he has to get 80 percent play time or 70 catches or 1000 receiving yards or 12 Tds.‬
‪3rd tier takes him to $6.75M is 70 percent playtime, 60 receptions, 800 receiving yards or 10 TDs.‬
‪But a big new groundbreaking deal for Gronk.”

Adam’s report did not include 14 TDs in the first level.

How often has Rob Gronkowski reached the above levels?

In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has caught at least 60 passes 3 times (2011,2014,2015).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has caught at least 70 passes 3 times (2011,2014,2015).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has caught at least 80 passes twice (2011,2014).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 800 receiving yards 3 times (2011,2014,2015).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 1,000 receiving yards 3 times (2011,2014,2015).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 1,200 receiving yards once – in 2011.
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 10 TDs 5 times (2010,2011,2012,2014,2015).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 12 TDs twice (2011,2014).
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had 14 TDs once – in 2011.
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had at least 70 percent playtime four times (2010,2011, 2014,2015)
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had at least 80 percent playtime twice (2011, 2015)
In 7 NFL seasons Gronk has had at least 90 percent playtime once (2011)
Rob Gronkowski was named to the All-Pro team three times, not four times (2011,2014,2015).

Please note that Rob Gronkowski if active for all 16 games was scheduled to earn $5 million in cash this year so I interpret Adam’s Facebook post as:
Gronk has 3 incentive tiers:
$1.5M if he just earns any of the lowest level incentives (70 percent playtime, 60 receptions, 800 receiving yards or 10 TDs)‬
$3.5M if he earns any of the middle level incentives (80 percent playtime, 70 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards or 12 TDs)
$5.5M if he earns any of the top level incentives (90 percent playtime, 80 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards or All-Pro)

Please note that it have also been reported that the tiers are
$1M if he just earns any of the lowest level incentives (70 percent playtime, 60 receptions, 800 receiving yards or 10 TDs)‬
$3M if he earns any of the middle level incentives (80 percent playtime, 70 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards or 12 TDs)
$5.5M if he earns any of the top level incentives (90 percent playtime, 80 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards or All-Pro)

We will wait for the restructure to be processed to find out what numbers are correct.

What happens to the Patriots salary cap if Gronk is an All-Pro in 2017?
The Patriots 2018 adjusted cap number will be debited $5.5M.

Please note that the Patriots never extended Brady with more than two years left on his deal. This restructure does not set any precedent.

Mike Reiss reported that this restructure does not touch 2018 or 2019.

Background

Contract Details

Rob Gronkowski was drafted in 2010 and signed a four-year rookie deal with the Patriots. In August of 2012 with two years left on his rookie deal Rob Gronkowski signed a 6-year extension with the Patriots if they picked up the option ($10 million) for the last four years of the deal by the beginning of the 2016 League Year (March 9). In 2012 Rob Gronkowski received a $10 million signing bonus. In August of 2015 the Patriots paid Gronkowski $4 million of his $10 million option. The Patriots paid Gronkowski the remaining $6 million in March of 2016.

Before the restructure

His 2017 cap number was $6,750,000 which consisted of his
$4.25 million salary
$250,000 workout bonus
$250,000 in 46-man active roster bonus
$800,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus
$1,200,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus

His 2018 cap number was $11,000,000 which consisted of his
$8 million salary
$250,000 workout bonus
$750,000 in 46-man active roster bonus
$800,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus
$1,200,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus

His 2019 cap number is $11,000,000 which consists of his
$9 million salary
$250,000 workout bonus
$750,000 in 46-man active roster bonus
$800,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus
$1,200,000 in proration of his 2015 $4 million option bonus

Tight Ends Compensation

A NFL League Year goes from March to the following March. Calendar Year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31.

Using the League Year barometer Rob Gronkowski is scheduled to receive the below amounts in cash
$15 million in 2015
$3 million in 2016
$5 million in 2017
$9 million in 2018
$10 million in 2019

Using the Calendar Year barometer Rob Gronkowski is scheduled to receive the below amounts in cash
$9 million in 2015
$9 million in 2016
$5 million in 2017
$9 million in 2018
$10 million in 2019

What I have done is compile the cash intake of all the top tight ends in the NFL using the calendar year system.

For the 2016 through the 2019 seasons
Rob Gronkowski –  $33,000,000
Jordan Reed  – $30,921,000
Julius Thomas – $30,900,000
Travis Kelce –  $30,146,000
Dwayne Allen – $29,400,000
Zach Ertz –  $28,818,527
Coby Fleener – $28,500,000
Martellus Bennett – $26,185,000
Charles Clay  – $25,000,000
Jermaine Gresham – $25,000,000

That is, before this restructure Rob Gronkowski was already scheduled to receive the most cash out of any NFL tight end for the four seasons that started in 2016.

Agents like to use 3 years as a deal’s measuring tool.

For the 2016 through the 2018 seasons

Rob Gronkowski – $23,000,000
Jordan Reed  – $23,000,000
Travis Kelce – $22,146,000
Dwayne Allen – $22,000,000
Zach Ertz – $21,318,527
Coby Fleener – $21,100,000
Charles Clay – $20,500,000
Martellus Bennett – $19,685,000
Jimmy Graham – $19,000,000
Julius Thomas- $18,300,000

Rob Gronkowski is tied with Jordan Reed for the most scheduled cash for the three seasons that started in 2016.

For the 2017 through the 2019 seasons

Rob Gronkowski – $24,000,000
Jermaine Gresham – $21,500,000
Martellus Bennett – $21,000,000
Jordan Reed  – $20,421,000
Coby Fleener – $19,700,000
Travis Kelce – $19,500,000
Zach Ertz – $19,500,000
Jack Doyle – $18,900,000
Kyle Rudolph – $18,750,000
Dwayne Allen – $17,400,000

That is, before this restructure Rob Gronkowski was already scheduled to receive the most cash out of any NFL tight end for the three seasons that will start in 2017.

For the 2017 through the 2018 seasons

Martellus Bennett – $14,500,000
Jermaine Gresham – $14,500,000
Rob Gronkowski – $14,000,000
Greg Olsen – $13,500,000
Jack Doyle – $13,250,000
Jordan Reed  – $12,500,000
Coby Fleener – $12,300,000
Julius Thomas – $12,200,000
Zach Ertz – $12,000,000
Travis Kelce – $11,500,000
Kyle Rudolph – $11,500,000

For the 2017 season

1.) Jimmy Graham – $10,000,000
2.) Jermaine Gresham – $9,000,000
3.) Martellus Bennett – $8,050,000
4.) Jack Doyle – $8,000,000
5.) Jason Witten – $7,400,000
6.) Greg Olsen – $6,750,000
7.) Dion Sims – $6,000,000
Rhett Ellison – $6,000,000
Vernon Davis – $6,000,000
10.) Coby Fleener – $5,900,000
15.) Rob Gronkowski – $5,000,000

Gronkowski’s ranking will go lower once the 3 tight ends drafted in the first round sign their rookie deals.

Hopefully, I have provided enough background information so it is time to answer your questions.

Added at 8PM
Q: Are there any option clauses?
A: No.

Q: Are any of Gronkowski’s salaries guaranteed?
A: Not at this moment. Like all veterans Rob Gronkowski’s salaries will become fully guaranteed if on the Week 1 roster.

Q: What leverage did Rob Gronkowski have?
A: He could have retired and the Pats could not have gone after his remaining option bonus money (6M total) because of how the CBA treats option bonuses.

Original Q and A section

Q: Does this restructure front load Gronkowski’s contract?
A: No, it does not.

Q: Can you explain the reports that Gronk was due $5.25M in cash?
A: I cannot. I have it as $5M
$4.25M salary
$500,000 in 46-man active roster bonuses.
$250,000 in offseason workout bonus money. It could be that the Pats also increased Gronk’s salary by $250,000 as part of this deal. Do not know that yet.

Q: Does this restructure make his deal more trade-friendly?
A: It makes it less trade-friendly if the incentives are for all 3 years and Gronk reached a level the prior year.

Q: Does the restructure create any cap space if Gronk is injured?
A: No. An injury will decreases his chances of earning his incentives.

Q: Why would the Patriots do this?
A: Costs them no upfront money. Furthers goodwill with their 2nd best player. Avoids a holdout by a tight end scheduled not to be in the Top 15 tight ends in terms of cash received in 2017. If Gronkowski reaches his incentives, the Patriots cash spending will increase.

Q: What were Gronk’s cap numbers?
A: Before the restructure
2017 – 6.75M
2018 – 11M
2019 – 12M

After the restructure his 2017 cap number remains unchanged.

Q: Is this a team-friendly deal?
A: Yes. Best tight-end in the game at a 6.75M 2017 cost is a bargain. If he reaches the highest level of his incentives, the extra cost will be worth it.

Q: Do you read this as a “team-friendly” deal or “player-friendly” deal?
A: Team friendly. No upfront cost. Gronkowski has to play well to get paid well.

Q: Is this deal pulling money from 2018 into 2017?
A: No.

Q: What have been Rob Gronkowski’s playing-time percentages?
A:
74.7% in 2010
94.6% in 2011
59.1% in 2012
32% in 2013
70.3% in 2014
84.2% in 2015
31.5% in 2016

Q: What is the prime playing age for tight ends?
A: There are several articles on the Internet that talks about at what age when tight ends hit their prime and start to decline.
* http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1683775-when-does-age-catch-up-to-nfl-players
* http://socalledfantasyexperts.com/aging-curve-nfl-offensive-players-every-single-position
* http://fftoday.com/articles/bales/13_te_age.html
After reading all three and a subscriber-only article on ProFootball Focus it seems safe to state that Rob Gronkowski is in the middle of his prime and should be expected to decline after hitting the age of 31 which just happens to be when Gronkowski is currently scheduled to become a free agent.

Q: How many games has Rob Gronkowski played?
A: Since signing his extension in 2012 Gronkowski has missed a total of 24 regular season games (a season and half worth of games) – 5 in 2012, 9 in 2013, 1 in 2014, 1 in 2015 and 8 in 2016. In effect Rob Gronkowski has gotten paid for 5 seasons while actually playing 3.5 seasons. Since his 2012 extension Rob Gronkowski has played in 70% (56) out of a possible 80 regular season games. Since his 2012 extension Rob Gronkowski has played in 50% (6) out of a possible 12 postseason games. Since his 2012 extension Rob Gronkowski has played in 67.4% (62) out of a possible 92 games.

You can follow me on Twitter at @patscap

A call for a donation

A long-time family friend, my youngest sister’s best friend, is on the board of directors of a soup kitchen and food pantry in Malden, Massachusetts that provided in 2015 the equivalent of 1,030,000 meals to hungry, homeless and isolated people. I am asking that if you have found my salary cap pages useful that if you are able to do so, please make a donation to the Bread of Life soup kitchen/food pantry.




Please mention this website by typing in Patscap’s Drive for Five in the Purpose Field.

You can have a portion of your Amazon.Com purchases donated to the Bread of Life.
You can learn how to do so by watching a YouTube video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eA-t4XxeOc

If you have any corrections, suggestion, questions, and/or comments, please feel free to ask me a question on the PatsFans.Com message board or email me at patscap at cox.net

Please take me to the front Page of PatsFans.com.

DISCLAIMER: This site is strictly for informational and entertainment purposes, and is in no way affiliated with the New England Patriots or the National Football League. It also claims no rights to the trademarks of either the New England Patriots or the NFL.

Comments


THE LATEST FROM PATSFANS.COM: