No, the Patriots didn’t have a deal in place for tight end Rob Gronkowski that was kiboshed by owner Robert Kraft after quarterback Tom Brady threatened to retire. Yes, they were calling teams about a potential trade as recently as three days before the draft.
So who were they calling? Albert Breer of SI.com recently said on FS1 that the Patriots talked not to the entire league, but to “some teams they trust.”
“Detroit, Tennessee, Houston, San Francisco,” Breer said, via NESN.com.
There were more than that, per a league source. It’s unclear how many more there were. It is clear that a deal was never close enough to result in Gronkowski being informed about the possibility — and that would have been a key ingredient, given that Gronkowski didn’t even commit to playing in 2018 until two days before the draft.