The Patriots are in line to have two Gronkowskis on their roster when training camp begins this summer.
The team announced on Tuesday that it signed Rob's younger brother Glenn Gronkowski to a future contract to remain with the club. The rookie fullback out of Kansas State spent much of the 2016 season with the Patriots as a member of their practice squad.
Gronkowski, 22, entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Bills and initially joined the Patriots p-squad on Oct. 1. He had four separate stints on the 10-man practice squad, remaining with the team all the way through Super Bowl LI. The 6-foot-3, 234-pounder was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots several times this season for his effort in getting active-roster players prepared for games.
The Patriots signed eight others from the practice squad to future contracts last week: offensive linemen Chris Barker, Jamil Douglas and Chase Farris, defensive linemen Woodrow Hamilton and Darius Kilgo, linebacker Trevor Bates, running back Tyler Gaffney and wide receiver Devin Lucien. The team also picked up veteran tight end Rob Housler on a future contract during the season.
New England has found success with future contracts in the past, particularly at the running back position as both Jonas Gray and Dion Lewis were once future contract players.