Reports have surfaced in recent days that Rob Gronkowski’s agent Drew Rosenhaus is talking with the New England Patriots about a re-structure on his contract. Gronkowski is currently the fifth highest-paid tight end in football, I think even the most staunch patriot hater knows he isn’t the fifth best tight end in the league. He is behind Jimmy Graham of the Seattle Seahawks who makes 10 million dollars per year, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs makes 9.4 million per year, Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins makes 9.35 per year, and Julius Thomas of the Jacksonville Jaguars makes 9.2 million per year, then you reach Gronkowski at 9 million per year. Gronkowski is much better than those four and it is really not even close, he might be the best tight end ever. However, I am sorry bumping his pay is not something Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft should be concerned with right now.
The Patriots three best and most important players on defense are all free agents at the end of the season. Linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins and cornerback Malcolm Butler, who are each top 10 and in Collins case top five players at their respective positions. The team has already traded away pending free agent defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, which was one of the most predictable moves of the offseason. After the free agent signings of this past spring, it set the market above where the Patriots were ever willing to pay him. The Patriots will also have to face the fact Rob Ninkovich and Jabal Sheard will face free agency.
So forgive me if I believe keeping the corps of your defense intact is more important than giving somebody under contract a raise. The time will come that Tom Brady is no longer an elite QB, as we saw with Brett Farve and Peyton Manning you can fall off the mountain in the blink of an eye. So building and keeping a very good young defense is something the Patriots will have to do. As the Denver Broncos just showed us last season it is still possible to win with bad quarterback play and a great defense. As promising as Jimmy Garoppolo seems the fact is we don’t know. Also if Garapollo plays well weeks 1-4 and Brady returns and looks just like himself, in all likely hood Garapollo will be traded, to prepare for that the team drafted Jacoby Brissett in the third round this past draft. Add all of that up and you are giving a player under contract a raise? Sorry, Rob you have to wait.