BOSTON (CBS) — The start of the regular season is now a little over a week away for the New England Patriots, but tight end Rob Gronkowski still does not have a reworked contract.
That was something that was expected to have been completed by now, with multiple reporters stating that a rewritten deal was just a matter of time from being completed this spring and summer. Alas, there’s still no new deal.
But Gronkowski, speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon in Gillette Stadium, said that his contract is not among his chief concerns at the moment.
“I’m always open for that,” Gronk said when asked if he’d like to have a new contract sorted out. “I mean, it is what it is. That’s not really my focus. I got a long season ahead. I’m just trying to focus on what I need to really do and just let everything else play out.”
Considering Gronkowski was speaking just a day after Odell Beckham Jr. signed a monster contract with the Giants, Gronkowski was asked if he’d like to see tight ends start getting regarded like wide receivers from a salary standpoint.
“That’d be pretty cool,” he said with a laugh.
Gronkowski did say that he was excited for Beckham.
“He’s a great player,” Gronkowski said. “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.”
Gronkowski also spoke about his teammate, guard Shaq Mason, who also signed a big-money deal this week.
“I mean he’s a great player,” Gronkowski said. “His speed is unreal, the way he can close the gap on a small defender and just block him is unbelievable. He’s a great player and it’s always great to see guys like him get a deal like that.”
Now 29 years old, Gronkowski discussed his overall football outlook, and how it differs from last year.
“I just love playing the game. I feel good right now. I definitely feel like 100 times better than I did last year during training camp,” he said. “When you’re feeling good, you love playing the game. 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 and be enjoying it. That’s how it’s been and when you’re enjoying the game, when you’re feeling good, you just love playing the game. It’s just something when you’re out on the field, like your mind is just in another place because you’re just focusing on what you got to do
“I’ve done a lot,” he continued. “Like I said, I just try to focus on my body every single day like after practice now and just try to get better every day and get the recovery going ASAP, right after the meetings and stuff so you feel good the next day. There’s times I remember when I was back rookie year, second year, you would just practice, go to meetings and you would do absolutely nothing but as you get older – and I got to say, you got to be on top of the game, you got to be on top of your body in order to be going every day.”
He also said he’s appreciated the experience of becoming a veteran in the locker room.
“I know, that is crazy actually. I know, I am 29 going on my ninth year and it’s like I’m like a true veteran for sure now,” he said. “It’s just wild and it just shows how quick it goes, how much you should just appreciate it while you’re in it. It’s crazy just seeing a couple 21-year-olds running around the locker room now, 22-year-olds, and just being 29 now. I was always the youngest one on like every team growing up, kind of when I got here too, so it’s all so cool.”
Tune in to Thursday night’s preseason finale on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. The game begins at 7 p.m. with full postgame coverage after on Patriots 5th Quarter!