According to multiple sources (Pro Football Talk and Adam Schefter among others), the Patriots recently negotiated new performance bonuses into Rob Gronkowski’s contract. If Gronkowski meets any of 4-5 of the milestones listed below, he will earn $1.0M, $3.0M, or $5.5M.
I would like to explore which of these are likely to be earned and which are not likely to be earned. Normally, that designation would indicate what amount, if any, need to be included in the Patriot’s 2017 salary cap. However, as the amounts are payable in February of 2018 (presumably after the Superbowl), any potential cap charges won’t hit until 2018.
Now that the first week of free agency is nearing its end and most of the significant deals have been signed, I’d like to look at the new Wide Receivers contracts compared to their peers as well as each player’s past performance.
Alshon Jeffery: 1 year, $9.5M, $8.75M Guaranteed
Now that the first week of free agency is nearing its end and most of the significant deals have been signed, I’d like to look at the new Tight Ends contracts compared to their peers as well as each player’s past work.
Martellus Bennett: 3 years, $21M, $6.3M Guaranteed
In my 11/22/16 article, I concluded that Bennett would re-sign with New England for 3 years and $21M. While I had the team wrong, the contract is right in line with what I expected, although with less guaranteed dollars. In lieu of signing Bennett, New England opted to trade for Dwayne Allen, who will count for a total of $17.4M over 3 years with no dead money in any season. New England is saving $3.6M in cap space over 3 years by going with Allen over Bennett, but they are also slotting a player in behind Gronkowski that is a clear step down from Bennett.
Terrance Williams is set to hit free agency once the 2017 league year begins. Will teams pay him as a #1 receiver or has he already defined himself as a secondary option?
The answer depends on what data set you choose to favor. Williams has played 10 games in his career without Dez Bryant in the lineup. In those 10 games, his statistics are noticeably better than the 54 games with Bryant:
Now that the regular season is over, I’m going to review each of the 2016 signings at Tight End to determine what kind of value each team received compared to the player’s contract. Contrary to my previous posts in this series, I will use each player’s season totals as well as prorated 16 game totals.
See my prior article here for more information regarding how these tiers were constructed and what types of tight ends fit into each tier.
| ||APY||Catches/16||Targets/16||Catch %||Yards/16||TDs/16|
|Tier 4||<$4M||n/a – Veteran Backup/Blocking Tight End|
Terrelle Pryor is one of the most intriguing free agents this year. Pryor is on pace for 75 receptions, 1,000 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Cleveland’s executive team and potentially the general managers for the rest of the league will have to make a decision on what to pay a player that is in the top 25 in the NFL in targets, receptions, and yards after totaling 2 receptions in his first 4 seasons. Five years after being taken in the supplemental draft by the Raiders and after a switch from QB to WR, Pryor is still a huge question mark as he enters unrestricted free agency in a few months.
This week, I’m going to revisit the 2016 signings and note where each player stands after 13 games on their new contracts. This will be the final installment until the end of the season, when I will look at each new signing’s full season along with their game to game consistency.