ESPN is reporting that Rob Gronkowski has just agreed to a six-year, $54 million contract extension with the New England Patriots and is now the highest paid tight end in NFL history.
“This is a rare deal,” said Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent. “Thanks to Mr. Kraft and coach Belichick.”
According to sources cited by NFL.com, Gronkowski’s new deal included an $8 million signing bonus, $13 million guaranteed for skill and $18 million guaranteed for injury.
Although the 27-year-old former University of Arizona standout had two years remaining on on a 4-year, $4.6 million contract he signed with the Pats in 2010, the Boston Herald reports the new deal was New England’s way of rewarding Rob’s record breaking efforts in his first two seasons of play.
After breaking in with the Patriots with 42 receptions for 546 yards and 10 touchdowns in his rookie year, Gronkowski firmly established himself as the top tight end in the NFL in the 2011 season, setting records for the position of 1,327 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 90 catches.
“He broke every record last year and it’s just a remarkable story,” Gronkowski’s father, Gord, told ESPN Friday. “And you know, there in Arizona, we didn’t know if he was going to play anymore when he had his back surgery [in college]. And now, it’s a great story. He’s out there now and everything’s well and he’s ripping it up.”
Following his spectacular regular season performance, Gronkowski suffered a severely sprained left ankle in the AFC Championship game, an injury that slowed him in New England’s loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
Not long after the season, Rob underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments, and continues to rehab.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has more on Rob Gronkowski’s record breaking contract extension with the Patriots in the video below: