The drama in New England added another chapter on Sunday.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New England Patriots nearly traded TE Rob Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions back in April, but when Gronk threatened to retire, the trade fell apart.
Via the report:
The Patriots and Lions were deep into trade discussions last offseason that peaked during the week of the draft, when the teams nearly completed a blockbuster trade involving Gronkowski, league sources tell ESPN.
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, according to sources.
According to the report, it wasn’t that Gronkowski didn’t want to play for the Detroit Lions, it was his desire to stay in New England and play with the Patriots and Tom Brady:
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 Patriots had been discussing a trade with a few teams, and Gronkowski wouldn’t have reported to any of them, sources said.
This saga, however, had a happy ending, with Gronkowski being rewarded with a reworked contract that included added incentives up to $4.3 million.
The Lions and Patriots are set to square off in Detroit tonight on Sunday Night Football.