FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For the second straight year, the Patriots have tried to show Rob Gronkowski how much he’s valued.

The All-Pro tight end says he’s feeling the love and is looking forward to showing them his appreciation on the field.

Last week the Patriots added $4.3 million in incentives to Gronkowski’s contract over the next two seasons. The deal includes $1 million in per game bonuses and $3.3 million in incentives for catches, playing time and touchdowns.

It is the second consecutive season the team has added sweeteners to the 29-year-old’s contract. Last season the incentives New England gave him pushed his compensation to more than $10 million.

With this latest restructured deal he has the potential to make $12.3 million this season and $13.3 million next year. It could again place him among the league’s highest-paid tight ends as he prepares to open his ninth NFL season Sunday against Houston.

“It’s definitely a relief to have that all out of the way,” Gronkowski said Tuesday. “That was last week. That’s in the past, which is good. I’m just gonna put my main focus on the Houston Texans.”

This new pact comes after Gronk made a silent statement by skipping the voluntary portion of offseason workouts.

When he returned for the mandatory minicamp he wasn’t bashful in saying he’d like to see his contract redone again on the heels of other NFL players getting offseason raises.

Gronk insisted that there was never any acrimony between himself and the Patriots this summer over his contract.

“It didn’t weigh on me at all,” he said. “I mean, everything is always ‘in the works.’ Nothing is just gonna happen in a day when it’s something like that. It’s in the past. … It’s go-time now.”

Gronkowski put himself in position to renegotiate after leading the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,084) and receiving touchdowns (eight) last season.

Though he never contemplated holding out, Gronkowski said he isn’t envious of some heftier contracts that some of his NFL peers have gotten recently.

“I’m super-satisfied with my situation,” he said. “If I wasn’t, then I would try to pull a move like they (did). It just works out. You get rewarded for holding out. But I’m not frustrated at all. … I’m ready to play.”

He expected to again be one of 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady’s top targets in the passing game. His importance to the offense will only be amplified with receiver Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.

Brady is also adjusting to some new receivers, following the trade of Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams and Danny Amendola signing a free agent deal with Miami.

With Edelman out, Chris Hogan – entering his third season in New England – is the most-tenured receiver Brady will have at the start of the season.

Special teams captain Matt Slater is listed as a receiver. But he has caught just one pass in 10 seasons with the Patriots.

Still, Gronk said he doesn’t feel any extra pressure to produce more than he normally does.

“There’s always pressure around this building, no matter what the situation is,” he said.

TRENT BROWN was absent from Tuesday’s practice, but it was an excused absence according to reports.

The projected starting left tackle is expected to be back at practice Wednesday and in the starting lineup against Houston on Sunday. Brown is set to take over from Nate Solder, who signed with the Giants this offseason. The massive 6-foot-8, 380-pound tackle had a solid summer and was one of the Patriots training camp standouts.

With Marcus Cannon practicing, the offensive line could be in good standing this weekend, but the Patriots still added more reinforcements on Tuesday. The team re-signed offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, who was released on cut-down day.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.