Gronk hopes Martellus Bennett 'breaks the bank' in free agency

Rob Gronkowski wants to see teammate and fellow tight end Martellus Bennett get paid.

"I'm hoping that he breaks the bank," Gronkowski said over the weekend, via ESPN.com. "Whenever you see a tight end break the bank, it's good for the industry; it's good for the position. You want to see the position grow."

Bennett is set to hit free agency when the new league year opens on March 9.

If Bennett is to "break the bank," he'll likely have to do it with another team.

The New England Patriots offered Bennett $7 million per year, and Bennett turned them down, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported. That is where the baseline for contract talks will start, but the team has hesitated to pay Bennett more than Gronk's $9 million per year salary.

Bennett rehabbed his image in New England after being viewed as a locker-room nuisance. The Chicago Bears essentially gave away to get him out of town. Now that he's viewed in a better light, the tight end should cash in on the open market.