Patriots Almost Traded Rob Gronkowski To Lions In Offseason

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According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New England Patriots were close to sending tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions during the week of the National Football League draft.

In March, Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal reported that the "chances were increasing" the Patriots would, in fact, trade Gronkowski.

Rob Gronkowski with the Lions?

According to the report, Gronkowski didn't even return the Lions' phone calls, even though former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is now the team's head coach and former Pats executive Bob Quinn is now the general manager with Detroit.

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It wasn't that Gronkowski didn't want to play in Detroit; he didn't want to play anywhere other than New England, according to sources.

The deal was thwarted when Gronkowski threatened to retire if he was shipped off to Motown. The tight end believed he should get a new deal from New England, but the Patriots did not sound inclined to pony up a bunch of additional guaranteed money for a guy with his injury history.

Ahead of the 2018 season, the Patriots' reworked Gronkowski's contract, adding $4.3 million in incentives, including $1 million per-game roster bonuses.

Gronkowski, 29, has nine catches for 138 yards a touchdown this season.