New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski flirted with retirement early in the offseason, but the team also explored some options for the All-Pro.


While appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Albert Breer of The MMQB reported the Patriots discussed a potential Gronk trade with the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.

“I don’t think they were shopping Gronk to the entire league, but there were some teams they trust that I know they talked to. Detroit, Tennessee, Houston, San Francisco — you guys can make the connections there.”

The connections are easy to pick out. Former New England assistants Matt Patricia, Mike Vrabel and Bill O’Brien are currently the head coaches of the first three teams, respectively. Shanahan is now coaching quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, a favorite of Belichick.

Gronkowski may publicly call the continued trade rumors “fake news,” but the report is consistent to what the NFL world expects from Bill Belichick.

But all is well in New England once again. And instead of seeing Gronkowski wearing a different team’s uniform in 2018, he’ll return as the featured piece of the Patriots’ pass-catching group.