After another amazing run to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots were beaten by the New York Giants for the second time in the last two meeting in the big game. Even though many believe the window of opportunity is quickly closing for Tom Brady and Patriots Coach Bill Belichick to win another title before the end of an era in New England, the Patriots are still one of the best teams in the NFL with a few more years as perennial Super Bowl title contenders.
Yesterday, the Patriots made their first significant move to prepare for next season by releasing six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. With Ochocinco failing to establish himself on the Patriots’ roster, New England decided to cut their ties in order to make way for an upgraded receiving core with the addition of Brandon Lloyd.
Along with cutting their ties with the outspoken wideout, the Patriots have also secured the long-term future of arguably the best tight end in the game in Rob Gronkowski. After a historic season for the up-and-coming tight end, Gronkowski was due a new contract and that is exactly what he’s been given.
Reportedly, the Patriots have signed Gronkowski to a six-year contract extension worth $54 million. The details of the new deal have Gronkowski getting $18.17 million guaranteed.
An interesting move by the Patriots considering Gronkowski only having played two seasons of his NFL career, but the record 17 touchdowns, 90 receptions and 1,327 receiving yards was enough to convince New England to sign him long-term.
The next move for the Patriots will be signing wide receiver Wes Welker to a new deal. With Welker openly unhappy with the contract negotiations, the team might have some trouble seeing eye-to-eye on an extension before next season.
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