Gronkowski not highest-paid tight end in NFL

Gronkowski not highest-paid tight end in NFL
June 8, 2012, 9:15 pm
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When news dropped that Rob Gronkowski signed a 6-year, 54 million extension, he was quickly dubbed the highest-paid tight end in the history of the NFL.

Not so fast.

A closer look at Gronk's contract, thanks to the Globe's Greg Bedard, shows that Rob Gronkowski is actually the fifth-highest paid tight end in the league.

Gronkowski's current deal is really an 8-year, 55.23 million dollar deal since the next two seasons are included. The last four seasons of his new deal are not guaranteed -- the Patriots would need to pick up a 10 million bonus in order to keep Gronk for 2016-2019 -- but even if they were, Gronkowski's per-year salary is still below that of four other tight ends.

Jason Witten, Dallas: 7.4 millionyr, 18.5 million guaranteed
Vernon Davis, San Francisco: 7.35 millionyr, 23 million guaranteed
Antonio Gates, San Diego: 7.235 million, 20.4 million guaranteed
Jermichael Finley, Green Bay: 7 million, 1 million guaranteed
Rob Gronkowski, New England: 6.9 million, 18 million guaranteed

By being locked up by the Patriots through 2019, Gronkowski may lose out on a big-time pay day down the road. But for a guy who sustained a serious back injury in college and continues to play as hard as he does, the 18 million guaranteed couldn't be passed on.