Patriots Nearly Traded Rob Gronkowski to Lions Before He Threatened to Retire

Gronkowski revealed immediately after the Super Bowl that he was contemplating retirement, so it's unclear if that is what prompted the Patriots to shop him around.

Rob Gronkowski would have rather hung up his cleats for good than play for another team, even if coached by a former Patriots coach.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday that the teams were "deep" in trade talks, which peaked the week of the NFL Draft.

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That will be next midweek in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford. "Because Martial played 90 minutes and Sanchez played zero". We are going to play better than we did, so that's what we can do.

Schefter reported on Sunday, hours before the Patriots and Lions kick off on Sunday Night Football, that the two teams almost completed a trade in the offseason that would've shipped Gronkowski to Detroit. The Patriots then called off any proposed trade with the Lions, leaving Detroit disappointed. New England ultimately pulled the plug on the trade. Ultimately, he chose to return to the Patriots, who later restructured his contract in an act of good will.

The story had a happy ending for Gronkowski and the Patriots, who agreed to a reworked contract in the summer that added $4.3 million in incentives for the 2018 season. He has nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown through two games to start 2018.

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