NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that the New England Patriots considered trading Rob Gronkowski this past offseason and that several teams were interested in the star tight end. It even appeared at one point that a trade would happen, sources told Rapoport.
But Albert Breer said in a video since published on NBC Sports Boston’s website that teams “weren’t as interested as you might think” in Gronkowski, arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history.
“Here’s the thing, and this is why even a Khalil Mack was hard to trade. You’re not just talking about trading high-end draft capital; you’re also talking about a new contract,” Breer said. “And you’re talking about a new contract for a guy that spent the entire offseason musing about retirement, who’s got a zillion injuries in his past, and so you have to look at it from the other team’s perspective … and I think from other teams’ perspective, it was just a lot to go in on for a player who you don’t know how much longer he’s going to play and you don’t know if he’s going to be able to stay healthy.
“There were teams out there reported as having been interested that weren’t as interested as you might think.”
Gronkowski strongly resisted a potential trade, according to Rapoport, informing the Patriots he’d rather step away from football than play for another team with a new coach and a new quarterback. Thus, a trade didn’t happen, and Gronkowski, who chose not to retire, ultimately reworked his contract with New England to add new incentives and bonuses for the 2018 season.
Gronkowski, 29, has been a force since entering the NFL as a second-round draft pick in 2010. He offered a reminder of his dominance Sunday in the Patriots’ 27-20 win over the Houston Texans, catching seven passes for 123 yards with a touchdown.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images