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Rob Gronkowski threatened to retire over possible trade to Lions

23 September 2018

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Pats came close to moving Gronk to the Lions at April's NFL Draft.

Schefter reported on Sunday, hours before the Patriots and Lions kick off on Sunday Night Football, that the two teams almost completed a trade in the offseason that would've shipped Gronkowski to Detroit.

When Gronkowski discovered he could be traded to Detroit that week, he threatened to retire rather than go to the Lions, according to sources. He and the Patriots eventually worked out a plan for Gronkowski to stay in New England.

All of the trade discussions stemmed out of the contractual concerns Gronkowski had with the Patriots. The tight end believed he should get a new deal from New England, but the Patriots did not sound inclined to pony up a bunch of additional guaranteed money for a guy with his injury history.

Gronkowski wound up receiving a $4.3 million raise from the Patriots in August and is signed through the 2020 season. He has nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown through two games to start 2018.

Over two career games against the Packers, Gronkowski has eight catches for 123 yards and no touchdowns. This marks the second consecutive year that the Patriots have added incentives to Gronkowski's contract.

Defensive backs Eric Rowe and Patrick Chung and defensive lineman Trey Flowers will not play after being listed on the team's injury report Friday.