In 2010, teams and agents have haggled over the timing of the option bonus to be paid in 2011 to first and second round picks. If there's a lockout, the player won't see the option bonus, at least until the labor situation is resolved.
The Pats and tight end Rob Gronkowski have found a way around the situation - he's getting no option bonus. But he's still getting paid.
Instead, per a league source, Gronkowsi's deal pays a signing bonus of $1.76 million and a one-time incentive based on minimum playing time in the amount of $830,000.
The contract includes minimum base salaries ($320,000 in 2010, $405,000 in 2011, $490,000 in 2012, and $575,00 in 2013). The 2013 base salary is fully guaranteed for skill and injury. Also, $255,000 of the 2012 salary is guaranteed.
The future guarantees suggest that the Pats have no concerns about any long-term consequences arising from the back injury that knocked Gronkowski out for all of the 2009 season.
In all, $2.59 million is guaranteed. The one-time incentive, which some regard as guaranteed even though it isn't, pushed the number to $3.42 million.
The deal also includes $30,000 in workout bonuses for the last two years, triggered if the one-time incentive is earned.
Bottom line? These numbers suggest to us that the Pats believe they got a steal with the 42nd overall pick in the draft.
Gronkowski probably won't be an instant sensation (he's not even in our rankings at this point) but he's an intriguing prospect for keeper league owners to take a look at.