The New England Patriots and representatives for All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski are in negotiations to rework his rookie deal, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Friday.
It's unclear if it's a rework or an extension, according to the source. There is no agreement yet, but the talks have been productive.
Gronkowski, selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was signed to a four-year contract that, with increases to 2012-14 minimum base salaries in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, had a total value of $4.62 million. Gronkowski's current contract has two years and $1.175 million remaining, but there were no available base salary escalators.
Gronkowski caught 42 passes for 546 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns in 2010 before having a breakout season in 2011. Gronkowski ranked fifth in the NFL with 90 receptions and set NFL single-season records for a tight end with 1,327 receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns in earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors for the first time in his career. Gronkowski added 17 receptions for 258 yards and three touchdowns in the postseason, but had just two catches for 26 yards in Super Bowl XLVI after suffering a serious ankle injury in the AFC Championship Game.
Gronkowski still is recovering from ankle surgery, but is expected to be ready for training camp.
Recent contracts for elite tight ends have per-year averages of around $7 million. Perennial Pro Bowl TEs Jason Witten ($7.4 million), Vernon Davis ($7.35 million) and Antonio Gates ($7.235 million) lead the list, and Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley signed a two-year, $14 million extension to avoid a franchise tag in February. Zach Miller and Marcedes Lewis have contracts worth $6.8 million annually, and future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez signed a one-year, $6.9 million extension late last season.