September 23, 2018 / 2:50 PM / a year ago

Report: Gronkowski nearly traded to Lions in April

Sep 9, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) makes a catch during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Rob Gronkowski was nearly traded to the Detroit Lions before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft, ESPN reported Sunday.

Gronkowski threatened to retire if the deal went through, essentially thwarting the blockbuster as speculation about his future in the game swirled.

Gronkowski remained away from the Patriots for most of the offseason.

The 29-year-old Gronkowski then met with team officials, who sweetened his existing contract. Gronkowski has nine receptions in the first two games of the season.

The Lions, run by former Patriots personnel man Bob Quinn and New England’s old defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, host the Patriots on Sunday night.

—Field Level Media

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