Hoomanawanui set to cash in on incentive

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots restructured the contract of Michael Hoomanawanui this offseason, and his one-year deal includes a base salary of $630,000.

But the fourth-year tight end also has the opportunity to earn up to $370,000 more if he reaches 45 percent of the offensive snaps played this season.

With Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve, Hoomanawanui has once again risen up the depth chart, leading the tight ends in snaps thus far this season.

Through 16 games for the team, there have been 1,128 offensive snaps. Hoomanawanui has played in 13 of those games, totaling 627 offensive snaps thus far, 55.5 percent.

He’s a safe bet to once again play a prominent role in Week 17 (he’s played 137 of the 150 snaps over the past two games since Gronk’s injury, 91.3 percent), which would allow him to earn the playing-time incentives and bring his total compensation up to $1 million for 2013.

In fact, even if Hoomanawanui did not play in Week 17 (there’s no reason to believe he won’t), the Patriots would need to run 266 plays for him to fall underneath the 45 percent barrier for the season. That’s an otherworldly total, meaning Hoomanawanui is set to cash in.

Given his contributions this season -- which extend beyond the box score -- that’s money well-earned.