NFL Rumors: Details Of Nixed 2018 Patriots-Lions Rob Gronkowski Trade

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The New England Patriots were set to trade Rob Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions in 2018. Then Gronkowski stepped in.

The Lions were going to trade their first- and second-round picks to the Patriots for Gronkowski and a second-round pick before the 2018 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday after the retired tight end finally was traded from New England to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-seventh-round pick swap.

Then Gronkowski threatened to retire if he couldn’t keep playing with quarterback Tom Brady.

The Lions took center Frank Ragnow 20th overall. The Patriots actually wound up trading their 43rd overall pick to the Lions for the 51st and 117th overall picks anyway. The Lions took running back Kerryon Johnson. The Patriots wound up trading the second-round pick they acquired and wound up with linebacker Christian Sam, cornerback Joejuan Williams, running back Damien Harris and defensive tackle Byron Cowart through multiple deals. They also won a Super Bowl with Gronkowski in 2018.

The Patriots probably would have taken Ragnow at 20th overall or tried to package picks to move up to draft quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Patriots grabbed left tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel later in the first round of the 2018 draft.

Now Gronkowski gets traded and can continue playing with Brady, who signed with the Buccaneers in free agency this offseason. And the Patriots get a fourth-round pick for a player they didn’t intend on having in 2020 anyway.

And everyone seemingly wins.

More Patriots: How Extra Pick Alters Pats’ Draft Strategy

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