Rob Gronkowski Trade Rumors: Patriots Called Teams About Trade Before NFL Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

In this Feb. 4, 2018, photo, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) warms up before the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis. Gronkowski has paid a visit to a hospital in Maine, where he made a donation and met with kids. Hospital chief operating officer Jeffrey Sanders said Tuesday, Feb. 13, the hospital is grateful and added,
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The New England Patriots reportedly explored trades involving superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski leading up to the 2018 NFL draft in April.

On Wednesday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the Pats engaged in discussions about Gronk "as recently as three days before the draft" and noted the organization may have been seeking to move up with an eye on quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was eventually selected first overall by the Cleveland Browns.

The topic of a Gronkowski trade took center stage once again last week after a flurry of speculation over whether he'd be moved. Everyone involved quickly shot down the rumors.

"Fake news," the tight end told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald on Friday.

Meanwhile, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday there was "no truth" to the reports linking Gronkowski with a possible trade to the San Francisco 49ers or Tennessee Titans.

"When your team is good, people are looking for things. I'll just tell you it's a bunch of hogwash that I vetoed some trade," he told reporters. "That was never in the works. It's just completely made up...and I think we have to be careful in society, people just can't come out and say things."

Gronkowski is seeking a new contract, but he attended the Pats' mandatory minicamp and there's been no sign he'll engage in a lengthy holdout to secure a deal.

Meanwhile, New England was often linked to Mayfield throughout the draft process, but moving up to No. 1 when its first pick was at No. 23 would have required a massive haul of players and picks. That's a costly investment with quarterback Tom Brady still entrenched as the starter on a team with championship aspirations.

The Patriots stood pat with two picks in Round 1 after a prior deal with the Los Angeles Rams. They selected offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel, former Georgia teammates, to bolster the offense around Brady and Gronkowski.

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