As it turns out, New England had a deal done with the Detroit Lions before the 2018 NFL Draft, but the trade went to shambles when Gronkowski threatened to retire.
The five-time Pro Bowler met with the Pats and the two sides agreed to a plan that would allow Gronkowski to continue to play for the team and talks with the Lions were dropped. The Patriots had been discussing a trade with a few teams, and Gronkowski wouldn't have reported to any of them, sources said.
This obviously is going to shine the Lions in a poor light seeing as Schefter's report states Gronkowski would rather retire than play in Detroit, but it also seems like he wasn't willing to play anywhere other than New England. The five-time Pro Bowler is said to have declined calls from Detroit, now coached by Matt Patricia - the former Patriots defensive coordinator - as New England worked to craft a stunning trade in the days leading up to this year's National Football League draft.
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Ahead of the 2018 season, the Patriots' reworked Gronkowski's contract, adding $4.3 million in incentives, including $1 million per-game roster bonuses.
Gronkowski, 29, has nine catches for 138 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' first two games this season.