Rob Gronkowski threatened retirement to prevent trade to Lions

According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Lions and Patriots had a deal in place to send the All-World tight end from the only place he's played to a would-be NFC contender.

If that's not the case, Gronkowski's injury history may have played a part in the trade saga. He and the Patriots eventually worked out a plan for Gronkowski to stay in New England. Gronk apparently threatened retirement upon hearing of the forthcoming deal, which forced the Pats to end talks with the Lions. 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.


In March, Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal reported that the "chances were increasing" the Patriots would, in fact, trade Gronkowski. This marks the second consecutive year that the Patriots have added incentives to Gronkowski's contract. He was removed from New England's injury report Friday after being limited in Wednesday's practice because of an ankle injury.

Gronkowski is looking to get back on track against the Lions after catching two passes on four targets for 15 yards last week against the Jaguars.

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