When Robert Kraft was asked about Rob Gronkowski's new deal on Wednesday, he hinted at something he's hinted at before: the NFL's salary cap will grow, but slowly.
Were trying to always plan ahead for the future, do our strategic planning, Kraft told the Boston Globe. In this age of salary cap, whats going to happen in the next few years with the cap, you have to have a core group of players that you can plan around as the foundation of your team.
The NFL cap has been a point of contention between the NFL and the NFLPA. The players believe that the cap will spike in 2014, the first year of the new netowrk TV deals. Owners, Kraft chief among them, disagree.
How would a slowly-growing cap help the Patriots? It would keep Gronk's cap number relatively low later in his deal. For a player who will likely be a huge piece of New England's offense, that's a big deal.
Gronkowskis deal has salary-cap numbers of 2.66 million in 2012, 2.75 million in 2013, 5.4 million in 2014, and 8.65 million in 2015.Although Gronkowskis cap number nearly doubles in 2014, it will still remain relatively low for a player who has become such a key part of the offense, until 2015 . . .
. . . In the end, the cap will grow, or not grow, based on a variety of factors, including the ongoing ability, or inability, of teams to sell all of their tickets to games. But to the extent that any 2014 increases in broadcast revenue wont be reflected by the 2014 salary cap, Kraft is correct. The salary cap comes not from revenues in the current year, but from revenues in the prior year. So any spikes in cash flow in 2014 wont be reflected in player salaries until 2015.
Football is coming.
The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.
Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.
The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.
The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.
Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape.
OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.
The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.
Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent.