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.
Gronkowski (back) was placed on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, ESPN's Field Yates reports. Gronkowski required surgery Friday to repair a herniated disc in his back, prematurely ending his 2016 campaign. He'll finish the season with career-lows across the board consisting of 25 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns. While fellow tight end Martellus Bennett likely stands to be the primary beneficiary of Gronkowski's absence, wideouts Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell could each be in store for an increased market share of the Patriots' passing attack as well.
|* 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|