New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is going to have to forfeit one game check if he loses his appeal and is suspended for Week 14, but the weekly paycheck he is giving up represents only a fraction of how costly the punishment could be. A one-game suspension will cost Gronkowski his $250,000 game check and $31,250 game-day roster bonus, but that only tells part of the story. This past offseason, Gronkowski and the Patriots agreed to a new contract that is loaded with incentives. The idea behind the deal was for Gronkowski to be paid like one of the top tight ends in football as long as he can remain healthy, which has proven next to impossible for him at various points throughout his career. The incentives are broken down into three tiers. Gronkowski earned a $1 million incentive during Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills when he eclipsed the 800-yard receiving mark. That was one of four ways — along with scoring 10 touchdowns, catching at least 60 passes and playing 70 percent of New England’s offensive snaps — that Gronk was able to earn that $1 million. For his next escalator, Gronkowski can earn an additional $3 million in one of the following four ways: Scoring 12 or more touchdowns, catching 70 or more passes, eclipsing the 1,000-yard receiving mark or playing 80 percent of the offensive snaps. The third tier, which is worth $5.5 million, requires Gronk to do one or more of the following: Score at least 14 touchdowns, catch 80 or more passes, rack up 1,200 or more receiving yards, play 90 percent of the offensive snaps, or be named a first-team All-Pro.
Rob Gronkowski’s one-game suspension could be extremely costly
Larry Brown Sports | Dec 4