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Patriots, Rob Gronkowski restructure tight end's deal

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Rob Gronkowski has a chance to earn a serious raise this season.

The New England Patriots and the superstar tight end restructured the four-time All-Pro's deal so his 2017 salary could go from $5.25 million to possibly $10.75 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

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.

Safe to say, if Gronkowski can stay healthy, his pockets will be a bit heavier at the end of season.

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