|The Pats reportedly re-up Gronk with two years left on his rookie contract. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)|
The Patriots selected Rob Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. After two seasons, 132 receptions, 1,873 yards and 27 touchdowns, Gronkowski is considered one of the the league's best young tight ends (to most people, anyway). And New England agrees … we think.
ProFootballTalk.com reports that the Patriots have reached an agreement that would replace the final two years of Gronk's rookie deal that was set to pay him $540,000 in 2012 and $575,000 in 2013. CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reports that a deal could be announced as soon as Friday, writing that a contract "is very close to completion and the extension would stretch beyond his current deal."
Meanwhile, Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, denies to PFT that any deal has been completed.
Either way, Gronkowski was the NFL's best tight end in 2011 according to Football Outsiders, ahead of Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and, yes, Jermichael Finley. He ended the regular season with 90 receptions, 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns, and was second on the Patriots in receiving behind wide receiver Wes Welker (though Gronk led Welker in yards per receptions, 14.7 to 12.9).
The Patriots won 13 games and the AFC East, but went from Super Bowl favorites to underdogs (if not in Vegas, then in the eyes of most of the media) when Gronkowkski suffered a high-ankle sprain in the AFC Championship game against the Ravens. The tight end still played in the Super Bowl but wasn't nearly as effective; he hauled in just two passes for 26 yards in the loss.
Save the post-Super Bowl shirtless dance-off that left at least one former Patriot apoplectic, Gronkowski has been relatively quiet this offseason. He had surgery on the ankle shortly after season ended and he hopes to be healthy when training camp begins in late July.
"Just taking it day by day," he said last Sunday via NESN.com. "Everything is going well, just feeling better every single week."
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