Recently, the New England Patriots traded tight-end, Rob Gronkowski, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To his delight, he will reunite with quarterback Tom Brady. He spoke to a Fox Sports panel about his upcoming move to the Buccaneers. There, he reminisced the last time he was in this situation. A couple of years ago, he almost headed to the Detroit Lions in the 2018 offseason.
At the time, the Lions were desperate for tight ends. So they approached the Patriots to acquire Gronkowski’s services. During the negotiation phase, the two franchises ticked all the right boxes and it was almost a done deal. However, the Gronk undid all their hard work when he declared that he’d rather retire than play for Detroit.
When he spoke on a Fox Sports panel, he said, “I did have a career-altering trade, almost a career-altering trade, and it was about two years ago. I was actually traded to the Detroit Lions and I got the call and I was contemplating if I should retire or not, but two years ago, I was like, ‘you just traded me, but I’m retired. I don’t know how that trade can go through’, and two days later the trade never went through.”
How did Rob Gronkowski dodge the Detroit Lions’ advances?
Apparently, the 30-year old never replied to Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn during the trade talks. So, he remained on the New England Patriots roster and went on to win the 2018 Super Bowl with them. Finally, he hung up his boots last year, though it would not last long, especially now that he is heading to Tampa Bay.
Without Gronkowski, the Lions had to settle for tight end T.J. Hockenson and signed Jesse James to a big free-agent deal. Despite the snub, Patricia, predicted that Rob Gronkowski wouldn’t stay away.
“Great player, better person,” Patricia said at the time. “Whatever career he decides to go to he’s going to be successful and I still don’t rule out the possibility of having to see him on Sundays, either.”