We just received from the Orange County Sheriff's Office this background statement on the Apopka incident Brandon Meriweather of the Patriots was present at. Case 2011-17499Background:The Orange County Sheriffs Office is investigating the circumstances of a reported shooting which occurred during the early morning hours on February 28th, 2011, resulting in serious facialhead injuries to Quentin Taylor (24yoa), when he suffered a gunshot to the face and Nico Stanley (23yoa), who was grazed by a fired round.The Sheriffs Office responded to the reported scene, but no activity, suspects or scene could be established or located with any certainty at the time of the calls. Shortly thereafter, the Apopka Police Department was advised and responded to a call of two shooting victims at Florida Hospital Apopka, launching our criminal investigation.While I cannot divulge all of the investigative details, I can advise that the OCSO detectives responded to the hospital and were unable to obtain any identifying information from the victims; one of which was heavily sedated, due to his injuries. Investigators have been following up on the limited information that has been received since the date of the shooting and were only able to obtain both victims statements, one on Monday and the other yesterday, Wednesday, March 9, 2011 as to the circumstances that led to the shooting and who was present. Based on this information and investigative follow-up obtained yesterday we can state, based on the confidence of those victim statements, that William Brandon Meriweather, among others, has been identified as being present during the shooting, which resulted in injuries to the two victims and occurred in the area of 17th St. and Marvin C. Sanders, during the early morning hours of February 28th, 2011.We are not prepared at this time to characterize or disclose Mr. Meriweathers status in this case, though we do seek to interview him. This past Wednesday investigators received a call from an attorney identifying himself as representing Mr. Meriweather, who stated he was looking to facilitate an interview with his client. We are receptive to this overture (opportunity) and detectives are seeking to further this interview if it can be arranged.We do want to reach out to anyone who may have witness information in this case to contact our office and offer a statement. I would also caution that investigators are following up on any reports of anyone assisting the shooter in this case or is aware of the location of any evidence or firearm. I do want to add that as late as this afternoon, detectives have been able to locate a crime scene and have requested the assistance of the Orange County Sheriffs Office Crime Scene Unit to gather any evidence that can be located. This case is ongoing and active as we close this afternoon. Once we have any significant developments, we will advise accordingly. I will take a few questions, but will not offer any speculation. Thank you.
Tom E. Curran and our Boston Sports Tonight crew debate whether the New England Patriots could have restructured Malcolm Butler's contract like they did Rob Gronkowski's.
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.