BOSTON (CBS) — With his reworked contract out of the way, all that is on the mind of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is football.
So really, it’s back to being business as usual for Gronk. While he’s “super excited” for New England’s upcoming opener against the Houston Texans on Sunday, he also said he’s pretty happy (well, “super” happy) that his contract issue has worked itself out.
After an odd offseason, the Patriots and Gronkowski agreed to add some new incentives to his contract last week, giving one of New England’s most dangerous offensive weapons a chance to spike his way up to a $13.05 million payday for the 2018 season.
“It’s a relief to have that all out of the way. That was last week in the past, which is good. I can put my main focus on the Houston Texans now,” Gronkowski told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “It’s go-time now.”
Like his quarterback, Gronkowski skipped out on all of the Patriots’ voluntary practices during the offseason. When he showed up to Gillette Stadium for an April press conference to promote Motocross — while staying away from the team’s practices — it was clear something was up between the Patriots and their star tight end.
But through it all, Gronkowski never held out. As L.A. Rams defensive stud Aaron Donald dug in his heels and fought with his team for a new deal (which he eventually got), Gronkowski reported to training camp on time. If he made his demands for a new contract known on the inside of Gillette Stadium, he never spoke of it on the outside. In the end, he received the added incentives in his contract and a chance to boost his 2018 earnings.
While the path to get their may have been frustrating at times, Gronkowski is happy that both sides found their way toward a resolution.
“I’m super satisfied with my situation. If I wasn’t, I would have pulled a move like they do. It works out; you get rewarded for holding out,” he smirked. “But I’m not frustrated at all. I’m super satisfied and ready to play – that’s my main focus.”
Tune in to Patriots-Texans Sunday afternoon on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, and after the game catch Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conferences LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter!