Rob Gronkowski partied like he won Super Bowl 51, but he was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Patriots beat the Falcons because of a back injury that sent him to injured reserve in Week 11. It shows how good Gronkowski is that he appeared in eight games (only six of those with Tom Brady because of his suspension) and still finished as the No. 20 Fantasy tight end in standard leagues with 25 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns on 38 targets. Gronkowski hasn't played 16 games since 2011, but he has two seasons with 15 games over that span. You hope he plays at least 13 games because when he's healthy he's easily the best Fantasy tight end in any format. He expects to be ready for training camp, and if that happens then he's worth drafting toward the end of Round 2 or beginning of Round 3 in all leagues.
Gronkowski was unrestricted at OTAs and said he feels 100 percent healthy again, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. Gronkowski is coming off season-ending back surgery, which was his third back operation since 2009, but the All-Pro tight end didn't miss a practice during OTAs, nor was he restricted in what he could do. A full participant through and through, Gronkowski has returned to his usual self, which is a hugely reassuring development for fantasy owners.
Gronkowski (back) was an on-field participant at voluntary OTAs this week, ESPN.com's Mike Reiss reports. Less than six months removed from the third back surgery of his career, Gronkowski doesn't seem to have any practice limitations, though the story may be different once the Patriots are in full pads for contact work. While he may still be held out of some drills as a precaution this summer, it seems the tight end has made a full recovery from the injury that ended his 2016 campaign. His ability to actually stay healthy is as big of a concern as ever, which explains why the Patriots gave him an incentive-laden contract restructure earlier in the week.
Gronkowski (back) restructured his contract Tuesday, Edward Lewis of NFL.com reports. The tight end's new deal is incentivized so he has the opportunity to earn as much as $10.75 million, compared to the $5.25 million for which he's on the books. Gronkowski's pay raise is tiered to three different levels based on his performance next year. He'll have to achieve certain statistical marks to get raises, including playing up 70 percent of time, recording 60 receptions or recording 800 receiving yards, among others. If he reaches the highest level and receives the $10.75 million, he will be the highest-paid tight end in the league. All this hinges on his health, which was an issue last season due to back problems. However, should he remain on the field this year, it appears he'll likely be earning quite the pretty penny.
Gronkowski (back) is feeling good and will be ready to participate in the Patriots' offseason program, NFL.com's Kevin Patra reports. Gronkowski is four months removed from having his third back surgery since 2009, but that time off, along with his offseason work with the Patriots' training staff, has the hulking tight end raring to return for the team's offseason program. Gronkowski previously insisted his status for the regular season is under no threat, and him rejoining his teammates for offseason workouts would certainly support that stance. While the fact that he hasn't played 16 games since 2011 should still concern fantasy owners, having Gronkowski fully healthy long before Week 1 would at least provide some reassurance regarding his availability.
Gronkowski, who was placed on IR this past December after undergoing a procedure on his back, relayed that he has "no doubt" that he will be ready for the start of the upcoming regular season, CSN New England reports. While Gronkowski's optimism on the injury front is encouraging, the tight end's status will still be worth monitoring closely in the coming months due to his lengthy history of back woes (including three surgeries) as well as other assorted ailments. When healthy, Gronkowski -- who turns 28 in May -- is fantasy's top tight end, but following a 2016 campaign in which he only played eight games, logging 25 catches for 540 yards and three TDs in the process, his durability issues will no doubt be a concern for prospective fantasy owners. Meanwhile, fellow tight end Martellus Bennett -- who filled in capably for Gronkowski down the stretch -- is headed toward free agency and is a candidate to sign elsewhere this offseason.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||Kansas City Chiefs||7||5.41|
|2||09/17||@New Orleans Saints||16||6.88|
|5||10/06||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||6.13|
|6||10/15||@New York Jets||27||8.75|
|8||10/29||Los Angeles Chargers||14||6.50|
|17||12/31||New York Jets||27||8.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||96||60||947||9||44||15.78||148|