Highlighting value of Gronk deal

In an Insider piece now posted on ESPN.com, Adam Gabriel writes on the contract extension signed by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Gabriel, who has previously conducted quantitative research studies for the St. Louis Rams on the salary cap, free agency and the draft, likes the deal for the Patriots.

"Given Gronkowski's production, his age, his durability, his love of the game, his ability to read NFL coverages and his potential upside, New England is receiving fantastic value with this deal. More precisely, the Pats are getting a great bargain over the first four years of the contract, in a cap-friendly manner. This will allow them the flexibility to sign other key players going forward, such as Gronk's fellow TE Aaron Hernandez."

Gabriel compares Gronkowski's production over his first two seasons to other top tight ends in their first two years, while also pointing out that "Gronkowski's career year came earlier than all of those players, which points toward future upside."

Concludes Gabriel: "Given that Gronkowski has played all of his team's 32 regular-season games in the past two seasons, plus all four playoff games, this was a well-thought-out deal by a team that does not make many contract mistakes."

To read the Insider piece (subscription required), CLICK HERE.