The New England Patriots have officially locked up TE Aaron Hernandez long-term, signing the three-year player to a contract extension worth $40 million to keep him in a Pats uniform through 2018.
Quarterback Tom Brady stated earlier in training camp that he plans to be under center for the next five years. The 35-year old can certainly find comfort in the fact that he’ll have two of his favorite targets around with Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski now signed to multi-year deals. Hernandez caught 79 passes for 910 yards last season, third on the team behind Gronkowski’s 1,327 and Wes Welker’s 1,569.
“We wouldn’t have done it if we weren’t happy with it. Glad it worked out,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “Aaron has improved a lot. He’s worked hard, he’s improved a lot in all phases of the game: passing game, running game, protection and his overall versatility. He’s done a good job for us.”
Welker is still waiting on a long-term deal since signing his franchise tender worth $9.5 million. If the Patriots choose to franchise Welker again this off-season, his salary would increase to $11.4 million in 2013. The team is currently preparing for their final preseason game set for Wednesday, August 29th against the New York Giants. Find the best available New England Patriots tickets with us at Ace!