The Patriots were deep into trade discussions to send All-Pro Rob Gronkowski to the Lions, according to Adam Schefter. The blockbuster fell through once Gronkowski heard of the news, and threatened to retire:
“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, despite the fact that former Patriots executive Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were leading the Detroit organization.”
In March, Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal reported that the “chances were increasing” the Patriots would, in fact, trade Gronkowski.
Early last offseason there was major doubt whether Gronkowski would continuing play anywhere, but ended up agreeing to a reworked contract that added $4.3 million in incentives for the season with the Patriots.
Obviously, the Lions are the big losers here as it is so apparent they could have used Gronkowski’s services this season.