Let's also compare the players...
-30 years old
-Took until his 8th year to put up the numbers that are in line with his potential
-Greatest accomplishment was leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2010
-1 career 1000 yard season
-Is ranked in the top 15-20 at his position
-22 years old
-In his rookie season caught 10 TD's
-Greatest accomplishment was having the most receiving yards and touchdowns of anyone in the history of the NFL at his position
-1 career 1000 yard season (has played 2)
-Is ranked in the top 1 at his position
Brandon Lloyd will be a big contributer for us this season but he's not a worthy comparison to Gronkowski as far as value. On top of the reasons I mentioned, Gronk is also one of the elite blockers at his position and is incredibly versatile for his size.
This guy will command more money than any TE in history. And BB isn't going to just lose a guy like that. This is an irreplaceable player. This is a player the Pats should and I imagine will see worthy of paying upwards of 10-12 mil a year. What the number actually is will depend on whether he or Jimmy Graham signs first.