Despite all the trade rumors and contract negotiations, Rob Gronkowski will be ready to hit the ground running next week. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to report to training camp on time and not hold out as a means to get a new contract, ESPN reported Tuesday.
Gronkowski's absence from the voluntary portion of the Patriots' offseason program led some rumors that he could be a holdout during training camp. He may be displeased with his contract, but he showed up for mandatory minicamp in June and apparently intends to do the same for the start of training camp, perhaps hoping the team will reward his show of good faith. With Brandin Cooks off to Los Angeles and Julian Edelman suspended for the first four weeks of the season, Gronkowski needs to gear up for a high-volume role early in the year. The 29-year-old tight end has two years remaining on his contract, but he's hinted at the possibility of early retirement.
While a re-worked contract has yet to be negotiated, the All-Pro tight end is currently expected to make $8.75 million in 2018 as the fourth highest paid tight end in the league. Gronkowski was the highest-paid tight end in the NFL last year at $10.2 million.
It might not be so easy as the Patriots giving Gronkowski another incentive package, though. Gronkowski knows that he is an injury risk every time he goes flying down the seams, and he is fighting for guaranteed dollars, which won’t rely on him staying healthy through another long football season.
Despite a slew of injuries in recent years, Gronkowski is still one of the league's most productive tight ends.Last season, he finished the regular season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had 116 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.