Gronk threatened to retire if Pats traded him to Lions

Ruben Holloway
September 24, 2018

That was the response to a possible trade from New England to Detroit by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski before the new season.

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It sounds as if Gronkowski killed off the trade attempt with threats to retire and an unwillingness to work with those inside the Lions organization.

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Gronkowski, 29, pondered walking away altogether following Super Bowl LII in February, but he met with Patriots brass to discuss his future, which included only catching balls from quarterback Tom Brady. It was nothing personal against the Lions or their new Coach Matt Patricia, the Patriots' former defensive coordinator. The star tight end wouldn't return phone calls from Detroit's leadership, and eventually made a firm commitment to the Patriots, where he signed a new deal later in the offseason. 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.

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Gronkowski received a contract extension with a chance to make between $3.3-just over $13 million this season based on incentives. He has nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown through two games to start 2018.

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