Gronkowski not highest-paid tight end in NFL

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Gronkowski not highest-paid tight end in NFL

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.

Bowles on if Revis can still compete physically: 'I don't know for sure'

Bowles on if Revis can still compete physically: 'I don't know for sure'

PHOENIX -- Todd Bowles wasn't asked if he thinks Darrelle Revis can be a All-Pro level player. He wasn't asked if Revis has it in him to be a No. 1 corner again.

The bar was much lower. 

Can Revis, who will be 32 at the start of next season, still be a serviceable player? Does he have the physical ability to be competitive?

Bowles should know. He coached Revis with the Jets each of the last two years. But his answer was far from definitive.

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"If he goes ahead and proves it, yeah he does," Bowles said during the AFC coaches breakfast on Tuesday. "But we'll see. I don't know for sure. I can't answer that. Only he can."

It's been a remarkable fall from grace for Revis, who re-signed with the Jets as a free agent after winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots. He was given $39 million fully guaranteed and went on to make the Pro Bowl in his first season back.

Last year, however, he had his worst season and was arguably among the worst full-time corners in the league. Quarterbacks completed almost two-thirds of their passes sent in his direction, and they had a rating of 104.2 when targeting the player formerly known as Revis Island.

"I love the guy. I love the player," Bowles said. "He didn't have a great year, but we didn't have a great season so he wasn't the only one. It's all about coming back and proving you can still do it every year. That can only be answered when you come back and do it."

The Jets released him earlier this offseason despite the fact that he's guaranteed $6 million by the team whether he plays in 2017 or not.

Now that Revis is looking for a job, New England has been cited by some as the most logical place for him to land. Asked about the potential of having Revis back, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the New York Daily News on Monday that he'd be all for it.

“I would love it," Kraft said. "Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”

At this point, however, a reunion seems unlikely. 

The Patriots are looking at the potential of having Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones all on the roster at corner next season -- though there is some question as to whether or not Butler will stick. 

And if Revis is hoping to make a move to safety, he'd probably have a hard time finding playing time as part of a group that will include Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung. 

Then there's the question as to his motivation. After winning a Super Bowl, and after making as much money as he's made, with an easy $6 million more staring him in the face, will Revis be ready to re-adapt to the demands of playing in New England?

Even if he is, there could very well be physical limitations impacting Revis' effectiveness moving forward. Bowles acknowledged that for some at Revis' age who play his position, the drop-off can come quickly.

"Sometimes it can. Sometimes it can't," Bowles said. "Every story is different. You have to write your own so he has to write his."

Kraft says word 'vindication,' says he's tempering expectations after big offseason

Kraft says word 'vindication,' says he's tempering expectations after big offseason

In a quote that will almost certainly get taken out of context, Robert Kraft used the word “vindication” Tuesday. 

Our work is done here. 

Kraft used the word when discussing the team’s comeback in Super Bowl LI, citing the minimal chances the team had of winning after falling behind, 28-3. Yet his use of the word will raise eyebrows because it’s the only word we've wanted him and the Patriots to say in a season that saw them win a title despite a four-game Tom Brady suspension the team felt was unjust. 

“In fact, with three minutes to go in the third quarter, we had a 99.6 percent chance to lose -- .04 to win -- and our guys believed in one another and it’s a great lesson to young people never to give up, hang with people who are good character, who put their ego at the door and come together as a team,” Kraft said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “It was just a great moment of vindication for our whole team and pretty cool for our fans.”

Read into that however you’d like. Honestly, it seems harmless, but the Patriots showed after the Super Bowl win that they were oozing with spite, so nothing should come as a surprise. 

As for the team’s offseason, Kraft seemed a little less giddy than he was on Monday, when he compared Brandin Cooks to Randy Moss. Kraft told ESPN that he’s trying to not get carried away with the team’s offseason upgrades. 

“I take that with a grain of salt,” he said. “We never try to win games in the offseason. On paper it all looks good and I think some of the moves have been outstanding, but in the end, what happens when you get on the field and the chemistry and how things work and are people in good shape. So we’re very optimistic and it’s good, but in the end, it will show in the results on the field. I’ve learned to temper my enthusiasm.”