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Comparing Hernandez & Gronk deals

8/28/2012

When comparing the contracts signed by tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, each have positive aspects to them.

Here are some of the key parts without getting into too much of the nitty-gritty:

Total maximum value

Gronkowski: $55 million

Hernandez: $40 million

Total contract length

Gronkowski: 2019

Hernandez: 2018

Signing bonus

Gronkowski: $8 million

Hernandez: $12.5 million ($6 million up front, $3.25 million of March of 2013, and $3.25 million in March of 2014)

Base salaries

Gronkowski: $540,000 (2012), $630,000 (2013), $3.75 million (2014), $4.75 million (2015), $2.25 million (2016), $4.25 million (2017), $8 million (2018), $9 million (2019)

Hernandez: $540,000 (2012); $1.323 million (2013), $1.2 million (2014), $2.3 million (2015), $5 million (2016), $6 million (2017), $6 million (2018)

ANALYSIS: Gronkowski has a higher earning ceiling, which he can feel good about if he performs at a high level over the course of the deal. One key part of his contract is a $10 million option bonus the team can pick up on the final day of the 2015 league year. That activates the final four years of the contract. For Hernandez, his ceiling might not be as high, but he received more up-front bonus money and also has one less year on his contract. The deal for Hernandez looks more “real” in the sense that he could realistically play it out as it doesn’t have the volatile spike that Gronkowski’s does in the final two years when it comes to base salaries.