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, who did not participate in the team’s voluntary offseason program but reported to mandatory minicamp in June, is set to be the fourth-highest-paid tight end for 2018 at $8.75 million, behind Jimmy Graham ($13 million), Greg Olsen ($12.35 million), and Trey Burton ($11.3 million). Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz are also making in the $8 million range.
The All-Pro said after a minicamp session last month that he is “trying to’’ get a new contract. When asked if he was aiming to have a new deal in place before the start of the season, Gronkowski replied, “Who wouldn’t?’’
Last season, the Patriots agreed to give Gronkowski a new incentive package that would pay him an extra $1 million, $3 million, or $5.5 million based on certain statistical markers. Gronkowski earned the highest tier, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL last year at $10.18 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.