According to Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots and Lions were “deep into trade discussions” regarding Gronkowski during this year’s draft. However, Gronk wasn’t having it: ESPN shared that Gronk warned he’d retire when he was made aware of the approaching trade, and wouldn’t answer Lions executives’ phone calls.
Following the Super Bowl, Gronk revealed that he was considering retiring, so it’s possible that’s what pushed the Patriots to potentially trade him. However, the 29-year-old tight end settled with a modified contract with the Patriots, where he’s set to make another $4.3 million in incentives.
The report makes sense, particularly because Gronk previously expressed that he would prefer to retire if he couldn’t play with Tom Brady or Bill Belichick. It was announced in April that Gronk would officially be returning to the field for the 2018 season, after missing two games and suffering a concussion last season.