A year ago, the New England Patriots picked up an option on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s contract — something he called “a pay cut.” Now he’s getting a raise. The Patriots and the four-time Pro Bowler agreed on a contract extension, and it’s structured in a way that will reward Gronkowski for being healthy enough to play and for contributing on the field.
The contract will pay Gronkowski up to $10.75 million per year if he’s able to hit certain benchmarks, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that those targets include playing 90 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, or hauling in 80 catches, or racking up 1,200 yards, or being named an All-Pro.
Despite that, the widespread belief after the season was that the Bills would release Taylor. He got benched in Week 17 thanks via management edict; they didn’t want to risk him getting hurt and forcing the team to payout his full $30.75 million guarantee. In the end, they did keep him albeit with a reworked contract to take away a mountain of guaranteed money. Now, he gets $15.5 million in guaranteed money and a wad of incentives after 2017, essentially making it a one-year deal.
It’s possible that this is just a motivational tactic the tired, old NFL say about forcing everyone to compete for the jobs. However, that one’s usually reserved for highly drafted rookies this time of year, not veteran quarterbacks who have given the Bills the best two-year stretch of QB play the team’s had since Jim Kelly had the job.
Here’s an idea — give the guy a vote of confidence in the press. In a league where there aren’t enough above average quarterbacks for all 32 teams, Taylor clearly gives the Bills their best shot to win now and even into the future.