New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski refuses to catch passes from anyone other than Tom Brady. And that assertion led to him stopping his own trade in its tracks.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport dropped an eyebrow-raising report about Gronkowski and the Patriots on Sunday morning, and it involves the rampant trade rumors that suddenly bubbled up during the offseason. Rapoport says that the Pats did indeed have trade talks with “several interested parties” about Gronkowski’s services, and at one point it appeared that a deal would get done.

That’s when Gronkowski stepped in and blocked the trade, informing the Patriots that he’d retire before playing for any team other than New England. Gronk also mulled retirement at one point during the offseason; the Patriots reportedly consider him year-to-year now.

Despite the trade rumors and his desire to only play for the Patriots, Gronkowski did express his interest in a new contract on multiple occasions over the course of the offseason. The team “rewarded” him with another incentive-laden deal that could pay him as much as $13.05 million, which would make him the second-highest-paid tight end in the NFL behind only the Packers’ Jimmy Graham.

It’s a big question mark at this stage as to how much longer Gronkowski will play in the NFL. But it sure sounds like he’ll end up spending his entire Hall of Fame career in a Patriots uniform.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at