Why New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski Hasn't Touched His NFL Salary

Rob Gronkowski is known for being a great football player. Since he entered the NFL, he’s been seen as one of the best tight ends in the game. Gronkowski has also gained popularity due to his fun-loving personality off the field. While at first glance, one may not confuse Gronkowski with a Rhodes Scholar, there’s one area where Gronkowski has shown himself to be quite intelligent and adept: his finances.

Let’s take a closer look at why the former New England Patriots’ and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ star hasn’t touched his NFL salary. 

A legendary NFL career

According to Pro Football Reference, the New England Patriots drafted Gronkowski out of Arizona in 2010. Since then, he’s been nothing short of one of the best tight ends in football. He’s a four-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler, and a three-time Super Bowl champion.

Gronkowski established himself as one of the elite receiving options in the NFL almost immediately. He was the rare tight end who blended size and strength with speed and agility.

While he’s a great blocker, he also has more quickness downfield than many wide receivers who are a fraction of his size. He also plays the game with reckless abandon. 

Due to his rough and tumble style of play, Gronkowski suffered has numerous injuries during his career. With this in mind, following the Patriots’ last Super Bowl victory following the 2018-2019 season, the talented tight end called it quits.

So how was he able to do this? It’s because he’s made a decent amount of money over the course of his playing days, and he was smart with the fortune he amassed. 

How much has Rob Gronkowski made during his NFL career? 

Gronkowski is currently in the final year of a six-year, $54 million deal, according to Spotrac. He originally signed the deal with New England before he retired and was traded to Tampa Bay, who inherited the contract. This year, Gronkowski will make $9.25 million. Gronkowski’s career salary earnings are just under $54 million. 

Gronkowski is an unrestricted free agent next season, so it’s hard to tell if he’ll add to this already large sum. He retired in 2019, likely due to the wear and tear on his body. Only Tom Brady’s move to Tampa Bay was enough to get him out of retirement.

It’s safe to assume that as Brady goes, so does Gronkowski. Brady’s well into his 40s now, so a comeback next season isn’t guaranteed. If he does choose to return, however, it stands to reason the Bucs will re-sign Gronkowski to play alongside him. Gronkowski has long been one of Brady’s favorite targets. 

Why Rob Gronkowski hasn’t touched his NFL salary

Gronkowski has made quite a bit of scratch during his playing days, but he’s been smart to not touch that. Instead, he’s avoided the pitfall many athletes face of blowing all their money on impulsive purchases. According to CNBC, Gronkowski takes a different approach to his money: 

“I live off my marketing money and haven’t blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewelry, or tattoos and still wear my favorite pair of jeans from high school.” 

It makes sense. Gronkowski has made so much from both his NFL salary and endorsements, he probably has enough from both to last a lifetime.

By stashing his NFL money away, he saves himself from having to work later in life. There are countless stories of athletes who squandered their massive net worths on friends, family, and ill-advised big-ticket purchases. Say what you want about Gronkowski, but he’s shown that he has a well-developed financial acumen. 

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