Patriots Almost Traded Rob Gronkowski To Lions In Offseason

Patriots Almost Traded Rob Gronkowski To Lions In Offseason

Patriots Almost Traded Rob Gronkowski To Lions In Offseason

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski refused to be a part of a blockbuster trade sending him to the Detroit Lions before the 2018 NFL Draft, according to ESPN.

The timing of this report is no coincidence, either: The Patriots are taking on the Lions in Detroit on Sunday night, so this is a friendly reminder that Gronk could be on the other sideline if his desire to catch passes from Tom Brady wasn't so strong. This was well after Detroit had already hired former Patriots coordinator Matt Patricia as its head coach and was looking for ways to bolster its roster ahead of the season.

Gronk wasn't having it though: when he found out about the deal, he threatened to retire and "even declined to return the Lions' calls" per Schefter. The Patriots had been discussing a trade with a few teams, and Gronkowski wouldn't have reported to any of them, sources said.

While the retirement talk actually began shortly after the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia in February, things seemed to take a dramatic turn for all sides when the trade calls began in the following weeks. He was removed from New England's injury report Friday after being limited in Wednesday's practice because of an ankle injury.

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Without Chung and Rowe, New England will be thin in the secondary against a high-powered Lions passing game.

Through two games this season, Gronkowski has nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown.

But the trade never went down - because Gronkowski didn't want it to, according to Schefter.

Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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