The Patriots deny having shopped Rob Gronkowski this offseason, but evidence to the contrary is mounting. The Pats engaged in trade talks with the Lions, Titans, Texans, and 49ers, Albert Breer of The MMQB told FS1 (transcription via NESN).
Recently, we learned the Patriots were discussing deals involving Gronk as recently as three days before the draft. Meanwhile, Mike Florio of PFT hears from a league source that the Patriots had conversations with more clubs than the four listed by Breer. However, a deal was never close enough for the Pats to talk to the tight end about the possibility. When Gronk put the retirement rumors to rest in April, it seems that the trade discussions were also 86’d.
Breer hears that the Patriots only discussed a potential Gronkowski trade with teams they “trust.” The tentacles of the Patriots extend to all four teams: Lions GM Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia used to work for the Pats, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien previously served as the Pats’ offensive coordinator, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played for the Pats and GM Jon Robinson spent more than ten years in New England, and Bill Belichick has a solid relationship with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
For now, it seems like Gronk is staying put, but the Patriots weren’t entirely truthful when they threw water on the latest round of trade rumors. The two sides will likely hammer out a revised contract between now and the start of the season, but it’s still a situation worth monitoring.
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