Belichick to star in two-part documentary on life


Belichick to star in two-part documentary on life

By Jimmy Toscano

Patriots fans: If you have plans on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 9:00 PM ET, and Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10:00 PM ET, cancel them. We repeat -- cancel them.


You're about to have your mind blown, that's why.

The NFL and NFL Network, along with NFL Films, have announced that New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, will star in a two-part documentary that takes an extensive look into his life.

Back in 2009, Bill Belichick agreed to mic himself up for the entire 2009 football season, and the product of those mic'd up days are to appear in the coming weeks.

'Bill Belichick: A Football Life', goes in-depth with Belichick on and off the field during that season, and it will undoubtedly show a side of Belichick that many fans have not been able to see.

Watch the trailer here.

The documentary -- a first in a series -- provides unprecedented access to each featured individual to tell the story of how their legacy is forever intertwined in the fabric of NFL history.

Bill Belichick doesnt only make history he studies it; he understands his place in it; and he appreciates our desire to capture it, said NFL Films President Steve Sabol. Like Vince Lombardis Packers in 1967, Belichick and the Patriots gave us access to his football life and what we created is a portrait of the coach, the father, the taskmaster and most importantly the man.

The 2009 season marked the 35th consecutive year in the NFL for Belichick, and also the Patriots' 50th Anniversary season. Surprising as it is, Belichick is the only coach to ever be wired for sound for an entire NFL season.

This documentary would not have been possible without the support of Robert and Jonathan Kraft and the entire Patriots organization, said Howard Katz, Senior Vice President NFL Media and COO of NFL Films. Mr. Kraft is always searching for new ways to bring the fans closer to the game and this project was a perfect collaboration between the Patriots and NFL Films.

"It is beyond measure what NFL Films has done to promote football, preserve its history and entertain generations of us who love the game, said Belichick. When the legendary coach of the NFL Films team, Steve Sabol, approached us about capturing our 50th anniversary season in 2009, it was an honor to participate."

The documentary kicks off with Belichick spending his last offseason day in Nantucked before reporting to training camp. It then will follow Belichick and the Patriots through the entire 2009 season, including Belichick's trip to Giants Stadium, time spent with Tom Brady, and the lighters moments with members of his team and family.

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

When it comes to Gronkowski's restructured deal, 15 is the magic number

Rob Gronkowski's contract looked like one of the NFL's best bargains not too long ago. Now, after agreeing to a contract restructure, he could be paid as the top tight end in the league if he stays healthy.

Granted, it's a gargantuan "if."

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Gronkowski's restructured deal will bump his salary for this upcoming season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million should he hit certain statistical thresholds or be named an All-Pro.

Per Schefter, Gronkowski earns $10.75 million if he plays 90 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done once before in his career), or makes 80 catches (which he's done twice), or gains 1,200 yards receiving (once), or is named an All-Pro (three times). 

Those seem like lofty goals for the 28-year-old who's entering his eighth year as a pro. But history shows that if he stays on the field for a full season or thereabouts -- 15 games to be specific -- he'll get to where he wants to be. 

If you take out his rookie year, before he had established himself as a go-to option in the Patriots offense, Gronkowski has played in three seasons during which he's reached at least 15 games. In each of those three seasons, he's been named an All-Pro. In 2011, he hit all three statistical markers. In 2014, he hit one. In 2015, he hit none. 

The lesson? When Gronkowski stays relatively healthy throughout a given season, even if he doesn't reach the astronomical statistical heights he reached in his second year, there's a very good chance he's considered the best tight end in the NFL. 

And if that's the case again in 2017, he'll be paid like the best tight end in the NFL.

To hit the second tier of his restructured deal -- which would pay him $8.75 million, per Schefter -- Gronkowski needs to play 80 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done twice), or make 70 catches (three times), or gain 1,000 receiving yards (three times), or catch 12 touchdowns (twice). 

To hit the third tier of his new deal and get $6.75 million, Gronkowski needs to play 70 percent of the snaps (which he's done four times), or make 60 catches (three times), or gain 800 receiving yards (three times), or score 10 touchdowns (five times). 

According to Spotrac, Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks is currently scheduled to be the tight end position's top earner next season at $10 million. Odds are that if Gronkowski avoids disaster and stays on the field, he'll eclipse that.

But the odds of him staying on the field are what they are: He's played in 15 games in four of seven pro seasons. 

The restructured deal seems to be the ultimate incentive for Gronkowski to get healthy and stay that way following last year's season-ending back surgery. If he can, the Patriots will reap the benefits of having the game's most dynamic offensive weapon on the field, and the player will be paid a far cry from what he was scheduled to make when the week began.