Report: Lions tried to trade for Rob Gronkowski, who threatened to retire

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The Patriots and Lions nearly pulled off a trade that would have sent Rob Gronkowski to Detroit — until Gronk put the kibosh on it.

That’s the word from Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reports that the teams nearly completed the trade during draft week.

The problem was, Gronkowski refused to take calls from the Lions and put out word that he would retire rather than go to Detroit. Because of that, the trade was canceled.

Gronkowski later reworked his contract with the Patriots and got the opportunity to earn additional bonuses through performance-based incentives this season.

The 29-year-old Gronkowski acknowledged after the Super Bowl that he would consider retiring, and it’s unclear how long he’ll keep playing. But he likely wouldn’t even be playing now if the Lions had traded for him.

Through two games this season Gronkowski has nine catches for 138 yards and one touchdown.

The Patriots and Lions meet tonight on Sunday Night Football.

52 responses to “Report: Lions tried to trade for Rob Gronkowski, who threatened to retire

  1. Glad Gronk put his foot down. The Pats D looked awful the other day. If the SB and that game vs JAX are how they are going to play would shipping one of the few great targets your QB has away be smart in anyway? Bill should be loading up for Bradys final years, unless he plans to coach after Brady retires.

  2. Lifelong Lions fan here. Clearly Gronk knows Patricia is trash. I wouldn’t have come here either if I was him.

  3. I can’t believe ppl hate on Gronk for this. He actually wants to stay loyal to one team. Its not about money, never has been. You see all these players changing teams, demanding more money, but this dude wants to play for one team. Props to you, my dude.

  4. I don’t think it’s as much Rob wants to play for one team…

    As much as it is Rob gronkowski didn’t want to play for the Lions.

  5. Personally, I think Bill was working the trade angle with GRONK because he wouldn’t commit to playing with the Pats this season….. Bill forced GRONKS hand & once he committed to the Pats the deal disintegrated….. That was Bill the GM doing his job to find out exactly what Gronks intentions were before the draft so he knew better how to use his 2018 selections…..& Gronk is STILL a Patriot & locked up thru next year as well…..

  6. So run that out a little further…

    Belichick was willing to trade Gronk when he already had 2 first round picks in the upcoming draft. The only reason he would have done that is to move up to the top of the draft to get a QB. Belichick had already berated Gronk in front of the whole team in the locker room last season, So effectively Belichick was willing to trade TB12’s top two weapons (Cooks and Gronkowski) in order to draft TB12’s replacement, after Belichick totally whiffed and blew the SB (where TB12 passed for over 500 yards and no punts). Trading Gronk would probably have cratered SB hopes this season (one of TB12’s few remaining seasons) too.

    Someone wrote last week that TB12 May have grown tired of Belichick. I would certainly hope so….

  7. To be fair…

    Not even Calvin Johnson wanted to play for the Lions.

    Hell, you could offer me a million to play for the Lions and I wouldn’t do it.

    Living in Detroit and playing for that organization? I’d rather take my chances in the stock market and not get shot or get CTE. That city is like a third world country. That organization is crap on my shoe.

  8. This made me spew coffee. As a Lions fan, I cannot blame him. Look at the promising tight ends we have ruined, like Big Joe Fauria, Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron, etc. Ameer Abdullah had a ton of potential, Kevin Jones, Jahvid Best, etc. Not to mention guys that are top-five at their position in NFL history, like Calvin and Barry. And Stafford’s cap hit becoming a nightmare soon.

    We are an eternal dumpster fire with just enough small glimpses of hope to keep us fools foolishly on board.

  9. But hater told us Gronk hated Belichick and totally wanted out of no-fun, dysfunctional, dead-dynasty NE and would retire if they did NOT trade him, so the facts must be wrong.

  10. Gronk has been on a winning team since day one, no surprise that he threatened to retire if going to a team with an entirely new system this late in his career.

  11. There have been multiple reports that Belichick wanted Baker Mayfield. I think he was fund raising when he traded Cooks and tried to trade Gronk to go up and get him. I’m one of the minority Pats fans that would have kept Jimmy G and traded Tom (to the team of his choice.) I would have been happy to get Baker too. Love Tom but whether he admits it or not, he’s moved on to TB12 and other challenges. Bill knows it. Nothing wrong with that, thanks for the rings and the thrills. But the Patriots also need to move on.

  12. Recap: Amendola, Gronkowski and Brady, among a few other teammates all commented with dumbfoundedness about BB’s SB “coaching”

    What is the plan here?
    What is the defense? Why isn’t Butler in there?
    We work all year for this?

    Yeah. Nothing to the Butler benching.
    Played 98% of all defensive snaps during the year.
    NE decimated on D.
    And “infallible Bil™” refuses to even play one down with one of his best corners.
    ….excuse me… Butler did play one down….on a punt return.

    Said no one: “Geez! I wonder why Gronk considered retirement! …and Brady, too!… and what’s that Amendola said? Oh, and Cook’s gone!

    Authoritative PR spokeswheel: “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I am the great Oz!”

  13. Do the lions even play in Detroit? They probably need to raze that entire city and start over.

  14. Good ol Gronk putting his foot down. “No Bill, this is how it’s going to go.”

    In all Bill should be thankful, why in the world would he want to trade probably the best TE in the league?

  15. To think that had this happened and Gronk retired the Lions organization’s ineptitude could have caused the early retirement of:

    One of the best running backs of all time
    One of the best wide receivers of all time
    One of the best tight ends of all time

    I mean 2/3 as it is, is pretty ugly.

  16. murphyslaw40 says:
    September 23, 2018 at 11:34 am
    This made me spew coffee. As a Lions fan, I cannot blame him. Look at the promising tight ends we have ruined, like Big Joe Fauria, Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron, etc. Ameer Abdullah had a ton of potential, Kevin Jones, Jahvid Best, etc. Not to mention guys that are top-five at their position in NFL history, like Calvin and Barry. And Stafford’s cap hit becoming a nightmare soon.

    We are an eternal dumpster fire with just enough small glimpses of hope to keep us fools foolishly on board.

    4 3 Rate This

    —————

    yet, your horrendous owners who run a mediocre car company, want to “win now”

    lol

    your franchise has been rebuilding for over 60 years because they don’t get it like ford never really got it, competing against the more
    efficient japanese model

    it is all right there to be had, but when you give a guy 2 games before threatening to fire him, picking up where lame duck caldwell
    left off with no accountability in the locker room, it cannot be fixed overnight

  17. “Belichick was willing to trade Gronk when he already had 2 first round picks in the upcoming draft. The only reason he would have done that is to move up to the top of the draft to get a QB”

    Not at all “the only reason”. Three days before the draft Gronk had not yet committed to playing this season. As someone else mentioned, Bill needed to force Gronk to either commit or retire so Bill could either draft a new high end TE or not.

  18. So bill doesn’t get to keep jimmy g so he trades away the best offensive weapon Brady has? Kinda makes sense when we know he benched his best CB for petty reasons in the SB

  19. By the end of the season, Gronk will hate himself for not retiring. You saw the looks on Brady and Belichick’s faces last Sunday. The petrified, scared to death gaze they exhibited when they took to the field before kickoff lasted clear into Monday. They were so scared they couldn’t even blink. I’ve never seen anything like it from any team, not even in girls’ volleyball.

  20. I’m just curious why Schefter didn’t also report what the Lions were going to give up. He stated that they almost had a deal in place so that tells me that everything was all set until Gronk threaten to retire. I wonder what the best TE in league history is worth at 29 years old

  21. This has nothing to do about staying loyal. Would he have rejected a trade to the packers? Or another really good team? Who knows but this is what I suspect all along. Greatest TE ever (maybe) but just a giant baby 👶….clearly BB is annoyed with him and Brady. Imagine that. He tried replacing both in one off season. But they’ll still win the damn super bowl

  22. How do you go from trading for a TE (probably a 1st+) to cutting Ebron for nothing?

    Quinn is terrible.

    This is the same guy that dumped Caldwell and his winning record (which is as rare as it gets for Lions coaches), to bring in his pal Patricia who lost the team before the season even started.

    How long do we have to wait until this clown gets canned?

  23. I mean do you blame him? This current Lion regime isn’t fixing this, and they’re going nowhere with Stafford. He’s won like a total of 6 or 7 games in nearly 11 years in the league against winning teams.

  24. onebuffalove716 says:
    September 23, 2018 at 12:38 pm
    This has nothing to do about staying loyal. Would he have rejected a trade to the packers? Or another really good team? Who knows but this is what I suspect all along. Greatest TE ever (maybe) but just a giant baby 👶….clearly BB is annoyed with him and Brady. Imagine that. He tried replacing both in one off season. But they’ll still win the damn super bowl

    1 7 Rate This
    ——————-

    exactly
    – pats fan for 36 years, season tickets in family since ‘78

  25. vikingf0rlife says:
    September 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    The Lions are the worst team in the NFL.
    ——
    No the Vikings are getting blown out by the worst team in the NFL at hom.

  26. jm91rs says:
    September 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    So bill doesn’t get to keep jimmy g so he trades away the best offensive weapon Brady has? Kinda makes sense when we know he benched his best CB for petty reasons in the SB
    ————————————————————————————-
    His best CB was Gilmore. Hands down. Obvious to everyone. Not debatable.

    Butler’s ranking among all CBs last year? This is what ProFootball Focus had to say: 2017 was a tough year for Butler. Among all cornerbacks, he regressed slightly, finishing with a 79.2 overall grade, ranking 51st being ranking fifth in 2016 and 18th in 2015. He also gave up six touchdowns in his coverage, tying for third-most at the position, while also yielding the 11th-most yards at 698 and ranking 108th in yards after the catch at 233.

  27. I am an unabashed Pats fan, but really. Who cares what may or may not have happened last summer. They didn’t trade him and it’s over. Move on…

  28. Love the Pats, Love Bill, but if this was ever a serious thing it’s time for Bill to get out or get some serious front office help. Including Cooks that would have resulted in losing 2,000+ yards of offense or so-Crazy. Bill can’t build any sort of Defense anymore, he’s stripping Brady of Offensive talent- Brady is the ONLY reason for the teams success the last 5 years. A Gronk trade this year would have ended the “in Bill we trust” cushion he has enjoyed.

    Two weeks in and were still looking for wide receivers, and still have the same horrible defense as last year. I know the D will play better eventually, but they are not going to be really good. Why on earth can other teams D’s come out strong right out of the bat with lesser coaches, yet somehow it takes us 6 weeks to get to mediocrity? Jets. Bills, and Fins ALL have better Defenses than we do-how did that happen?

    Once again it’s all on Tom Brady this year.

  29. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    September 23, 2018 at 11:38 am
    Who in their right mind
    Goes to Detroit for anything?

    —————

    He was born and raised in Buffalo. It would probably be an upgrade.

  30. tylawspick6 says:
    September 23, 2018 at 11:52 am

    BB brilliantly called the bluff.

    Now it is time for Hightower and McCourty to wake up or they are gone.
    —————————————–

    That’s right up there with your “Humans don’t go to the Hospital for the flu” quote from a few weeks ago!! You define as “brilliant” trying to trade or “call the bluff’ on your second best player- which also alienates your best player in Brady? How is that in anyway brilliant- maybe Bill should focus on being a better GM than trying to hoodwink his best players.

    Hightower and Mcourty- really? Mcourty lost a step LAST year, you really think he’s going to get better this year? Bill signed Hightower last year to a fat contract after he got only mild interest from 3 teams in free agency and couldn’t pass a physical for one of them. It’s 100% on Bill if Hightower can’t play anymore. What’s your plan if they don’t “wake up”- Bill gets rid of them- for what? Bill has zero plan in place for that.

    Mcourty lost a step last year. Chung lost two steps last year, and really shouldn’t be a starter this year- plus he gets injured every other game now. both great guys, but the game has passed them. Rowe is on his third year of groin injuries, and is a third corner at most. Bill’s stubbornness is costing this team and costing Brady’s final years and It’s been a long time since Bill has been “Brilliant”

  31. Not long ago the report was that Gronk said he would retire rather than go ANYWHERE else. Just because Shefter reports that there were talks specifically with Detroit doesn’t mean that Gronk said he’d retire rather than go to Detroit.

    When you consider that Gronk hasn’t spent any of his NFL money, it’s clear he’s not primarily motivated by the money. He knows he’s nearing the end of his career and it looks like he’d rather spend it in a system he’s totally familiar with and with a QB he works well with. Not that hard to understand, so I’m sure not going to assume this all had to do with his having anything against Detroit in particular.

  32. While the stat sheet on Butler is interesting… it does not contradict the other stat: he was the full-time starter for NE…who had played in 98% of the defensive downs for NE

    Further, and this is the ‘tell’ on Bellyache’s tantrum: Butler was never brought in to spell any of the other D corners, even as they were getting torched.

    Can anyone explain how that makes any sense?

    A: Yes! if you’re a vindictive autocrat

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