Patriots Deny Report Tom Brady Threatened to Retire If Rob Gronkowski Was Traded

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2018

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts with Tom Brady #12 after catching a touchdown pass during the second quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

There is seemingly never-ending drama in New England these days, with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski once again at the center of it all.

According to freelance journalist Adam Kurkjian, New England coach Bill Belichick wanted to trade his Pro Bowl tight end earlier this offseason and even approached owner Robert Kraft with offers on the table. However, Brady reportedly threatened to retire if the deal was made, resulting in the owner nixing the trade.

Patriots vice president of media relations Stacey James denied the entire situation, via Kurkjian: "I would say with the utmost confidence that none of that is true. None of it."

Earlier this year, ESPN.com's Seth Wickersham reported that Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have been involved in a power struggle. According to the report, Belichick wanted to keep Jimmy Garoppolo as the team's quarterback of the future, but he ultimately lost that battle as the backup and was dealt midseason to the San Francisco 49ers.

Now, there are rumors that Belichick was once again overruled.

Gronkowski, 29, made headlines when he revealed after a 41-33 Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in February that he was considering retirement. He has since confirmed that he will play in 2018:

The 6'6", 265-pound tight end had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns last season, adding 16 catches for 218 yards and three scores during the playoffs. He was knocked out of the AFC Championship Game with a concussion but returned to play in the Super Bowl. 

There was also speculation that Brady might retire this offseason. But after winning his third NFL MVP award and making his eighth Super Bowl appearance at the age of 40, he has yet to show any signs of slowing down.

Even though both stars made it clear they would return for at least one more year, neither was present during organized team activities. They have since reported to the team for mandatory minicamp.

Barring any unforeseen shake-up or injury, both Gronkowski and Brady will be on the field come Week 1.

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