The New England Patriots added more speed to their deep receiving corps.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported it’s a one-year deal for Hawkins. The wideout turned down more lucrative offers elsewhere to join New England.
“It was never really about the money.” Hawkins said. “And to be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation. But like I said, it was all about winning for my steelers woman jersey at this point and putting myself in the best position to do so.”
Gronkowski must cross a variety of thresholds to reach his pay raise, per Rapoport.
The deal goes to $6.75 million if he reaches any of the following incentives such as 70 percent play time, 60 catches, 800 receiving yards or 10 touchdowns. It moves to a million more if he reaches either 80 percent play time, 70 catches, 1,000 receiving yards or 12 touchdowns. It can reach a maximum total of $10.75 million if he hits either 90 percent play time, 80 catches, 1,200 receiving yards or becomes an All-Pro.
For the Patriots and Gronkowski, who’s in year No. 6 of an eight-year, $54 million deal he signed back in 2012, the redone contract “keeps both sides happy,” Rapoport reported.
Gronkowski is coming off a 2016 season in which he missed eight games because of hamstring and back ailments. In his seven-year career, he’s only started all 16 games for the Patriots once, missing extended time with elbow, knee and back issues.
Still, despite the missed games, the tight end has been one of the NFL’s most dominant players. He’s recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards in three seasons and has caught 10 or more touchdowns in all but two.
During a wide-ranging interview at the Bloomberg Breakaway Summit, Kraft expressed his feelings about Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension and talked about the Patriots’ 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.
“Well, I don’t hold grudges, but I also don’t forget anything,” Kraft said when asked if there was any “ill-will” between him and the NFL over Brady’s suspension. “Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. I understand why people… I mean if I had never won a Super Bowl — I’m going into my 24th season as an owner, I mean I’m passionate about having the privilege of owning a football team in my hometown — I would be so angry at our folks and think about what can I do to do it?
“So our competitors, I understand how they brought pressure on the league office to be very strong and not compromise in an issue that was nonsense and foolishness.”
Still, Kraft saw at least one good aspect of the suspension — it helped keep Brady fresh, at least for the first part of the regular season.
“He didn’t play the first four games, which is 25 percent of the season,” Kraft said. “The good news is, he took no wear and tear on his body.”
Kraft went on to talk about the resilience the Patriots showed in rallying to defeat the Falcons.
“With three minutes to go in the third — I mean whatever team you were for, there are a lot of happy anti-Patriot fans — but with three minutes to go in the third quarter, we had a .04 percent chance to win, 99.6 percent chance to lose, and to come back after everything that had happened, you know, it’s a great lesson for the wholesale nfl jerseys and millennials,” Kraft said. “I don’t know how many we have in this room, but how important hard work, perseverance, never giving back and hanging in there and keep coming back, you know that was the story of this Super Bowl. We all stay together in tough times, and it’s really tough.”
Kraft, 75, was a 23-year Patriots season-ticket holder when he purchased the team in 1994. The team has won five Super Bowls under his ownership.