New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots sign second-round pick Gronkowski

A league source has told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Patriots have signed second-round pick Rob Gronkowski to a four-year $4.44 million contract. Gronkowski will also receive a $1.76 million signing bonus and a one-time, $830,000 minimum-playing time bonus that in effect serves as his option bonus. The signing allows Gronkowski, a tight end from Arizona, to join the Patriots in time for the start of rookie camp.

In his collegiate career (22 games) with Arizona, the 6-foot-6, 258-pounder finished with 75 receptions, 1,197 receiving yards (15.9 yards per catch) and 16 touchdowns. A back injury caused Gronkowski to miss the entire 2009 season, and he decided to jump into the 2010 draft.

New England reached a four year agreement with linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (second round) on Saturday night, leaving inside linebacker Brandon Spikes (second round) and cornerback Devin McCourty (first round) as the teams lone remaining unsigned picks. A deal for Spikes is close and could be completed by the end of the day, league sources say.

Gronkowski is one of three tight ends who will compete for playing time with the Patriots this season. The Patriots drafted Aaron Hernandez and signed veteran Alge Crumpler. Patriots rookies are scheduled to report to Gillette Stadium today.


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