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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski falling well behind in hitting performance-based incentives this season

Ryan Hannable
October 03, 2018 - 12:19 pm

We’re at the quarter-point of the 2018 season, which seems like a good time to check on Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski when it comes to them hitting their performance-based incentives for the year.

For Brady, he can earn up to $5 million in incentives if he finishes as a top-five player in the following statistical categories: quarterback rating, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown passes and passing yards. 

The 41-year-old has a quarterback rating of 94, which is 16th in the NFL. Jared Goff leads the NFL at 127.3, while Matt Ryan is No. 5 at 114, so he has a long way to go to make that up. He’s 21st in completion percentage at 64.4 parent, which is very uncharacteristic of him. This will certainly get better as the year goes on, but he still has a ton of ground to make up.

It’s even worse in yards per attempt as he’s averaging 6.8 yards per throw, which is tied for 27th in the league with Cam Newton. Passing yards isn’t great, either as he comes in at No. 20. There have been some big passing games this season and Brady hasn’t been involved in any, as he doesn’t even have a 300-yard game this season. The only category he’s doing OK in is touchdown passes, as he has nine, which is eighth.

Related: Watch every Patriots game season this season with fuboTV -- click to start free trial now

Of course, his numbers should go up moving forward with the return of Julian Edelman and potentially Josh Gordon being more involved in the offense, but he’s so far behind in almost all these categories he’s really going to need to tear it up over the next 12 games in order to reach the majority of the numbers needed to earn the extra cash.

As for Gronkowski, he’s in the same boat.

The Patriots tight end can earn a maximum of $3.3 million by hitting three of the following four incentives: 70 or more catches, 1,085 receiving yards, 80 percent playing time and nine or more touchdown catches. He also has $1 million in per game roster bonuses.

Through four games, Gronkowski has 17 catches for 233 yards and a touchdown, while playing 88 percent of the snaps. If he keeps the current pace, Gronkowski will finish with 68 catches for 932 yards and four touchdowns, while playing 88 percent of the snaps.

Clearly, he will fall short in three of the four categories, and it will be even more challenging to hit them if he misses games because those numbers on his current pace are if he plays in every game the rest of the season. 

Gronkowski’s numbers will likely improve with getting Edelman back involved, but the biggest thing for him is making sure he stays on the field, which already could be an issue as it is unclear if he will be able to play Thursday against the Colts.

Both players’ numbers were based on what they did last season, so it’s not a surprise they are falling short as it’s clear to this point they aren’t playing at the same level as they did a year ago, which the same can be said for the entire Patriots offense.

Related: Preparing for Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman has been tough for Colts