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Patriots Respond To A Wild Rumor About A Rob Gronkowski Trade

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)

It has been a strange few days for Patriots fans. The New England franchise is the winningest in recent NFL history, but there is a strange air floating around the club since the Super Bowl loss earlier this year.

On Thursday, it was announced that star wide receiver Julian Edelman will sit out four games due to suspension. Edelman reportedly violated the league's substance policy.

Edelman's connection to famed Tom Brady trainer Alex Guerrero has been noted by many. However, there is no indication that anything he has treated Edelman, or any other player, with is involved here. Edelman is appealing the suspension.

In a bizarre twist, while Adam Schefter and Field Yates had the report, they were not the first ones to put it online. That would be mysterious Redditor Redditlover1981, who has since teased another "major" Patriots story to come.

For a brief time this afternoon, it sounded like that "major" story might be a Rob Gronkowski trade.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a Patriots fan, threw some gas on that fire with a tweet. It was quickly refuted by NBC Sports' Tom E. Curran and one of Gronk's brothers.

Curran wasn't the only one to inquire about a rumored deal. Boston-area writer Adam Kurkjian looked into it, and heard from his sources that there might be "offers on the table" from the Titans and 49ers, but Tom Brady nixed the deal that Belichick wanted to get done.

If true, that would be an explosive story. And it would feed the endless rumors of a Brady/Belichick schism in New England. However...

That probably won't stop all of the NFL conspiracy theories, but that is a pretty strong statement from James and the Patriots.