Rob Gronkowski threatened to retire after almost being traded to Lions

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According to ESPN, the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions were knee deep in trade discussion last April, and the centerpiece of the deal was none other than Rob Gronkowski.

It sounds as if Gronkowski killed off the trade attempt with threats to retire and an unwillingness to work with those inside the Lions organization. Rather than suit up for their team, Gronkowski would have forgone the rest of his National Football League playing career.

Amusing enough, the Patriots play against the Lions on Sunday Night Football in a game that marks the first time Matt Patricia will be coaching against his former team.

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The Lions take on the Patriots Sunday night in Detroit.

Gronkowski wanted to play in New England, with Tom Brady, or nowhere at all. The star tight end wouldn't return phone calls from Detroit's leadership, and eventually made a firm commitment to the Patriots, where he signed a new deal later in the offseason. But Gronkowski blocked the big trade before it could get done. In any event, the 29-year-old agreed to a re-worked contract with the Patriots that allows him to make an additional $4.3 million in incentives.

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