Patriots and Lions discussed Rob Gronkowski trade


However, Gronkowski threatened retirement to ensure he did not land with the Lions.

The Patriots tight end reportedly threatened retirement upon the Lions and Patriots almost completing a blockbuster trade for him last spring, sources told ESPN.

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

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. It was nothing personal against the Lions or their new Coach Matt Patricia, the Patriots' former defensive coordinator. New England ultimately pulled the plug on the trade. That prompted the Patriots to sit down with him and give him a refashioned contract that adds $4.3 million incentives for the 2018 season.

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He finished the 2017 season with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He popped up on the Patriots injury report Thursday but the ankle issue he dealt with was a minor one, and he is expected to be good to go Sunday night. That's when Gronkowski found out about the imminent deal - and put a stop to it.

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