Skip to main content

The Patriots Reportedly Almost Traded Rob Gronkowski To This NFL Team

Rob Gronkowski walks off the field after Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after his teams 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski will be playing for the New England Patriots against the Detroit Lions tonight. A new report reveals that this almost wasn't going to happen.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports that the Patriots and Lions were close to a Gronkowski trade this offseason.

"Patriots and Lions nearly completed a blockbuster trade in the week of the NFL draft that would have sent Rob Gronkowski to Detroit, per sources. Now Gronkowski is in Detroit to play the Lions tonight," he reports.

From the report:

When Gronkowski discovered he could be traded to Detroit that week, he threatened to retire rather than go to the Lions, according to sources. Gronkowski even declined to return the Lions' calls, despite the fact that former Patriots executive Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were leading the Detroit organization.

It was at that point that Gronkowski and Patriots officials met, with the two sides discussing a plan for the Pro Bowl tight end to continue playing -- but only in New England. The Patriots then called off any proposed trade with the Lions, leaving Detroit disappointed.

Gronkowski, 29, has 9 catches for 138 yards and 1 touchdown so far this season. Defenses have been loading up on him with the Patriots lacking depth at wide receiver.

New England and Detroit are set to kick off at 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC.