According to Schefter, the trade talks peaked before this year’s draft. However, after Gronkowski learned that he could be traded to the Lions, he threatened to retire from the NFL.
Schefter says that Gronkowski even declined to return the Lions’ calls, even though former Patriots executive Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were leading the Detroit organization.
After Gronkowski threatened to retire, he met with Patriots officials and the two parties began discussing a plan to allow him to remain in New England.
The Patriots ultimately called off any proposed trade with the Lions.
The two parties ultimately agreed to a restructured deal last month that added $4.3 million to Gronkowski’s contract this year to go along with $1 million in per-game bonuses and $3.3 million in incentives. This boosts his 2018 max value to $13.050 million.
Gronkowski can earn $1.1 million for 70 or more catches, $1.1 million for 80 percent playtime, $1.1 million for nine or more TD catches, and $1.1 million for 1,085 receiving yards. If Gronkowski can earn three of those four incentives, it would boost his salary another $3.3 million.
His 2018 base salary remains $8 million and he still has two years left on his contract.
Gronkowski, 28, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2010. He is in the sixth year of his eight-year, $55.23 million contract that included $13.17 million guaranteed.
Gronkowski has outplayed this contract by a mile and was one of the most underpaid players in the NFL. He was set to make base salaries of $8 million (2018) and $9 million (2019) over the remainder of the contract when he agreed to a restructured contract last summer.
In 2018, Gronkowski has appeared in two games for the Patriots and caught nine passes for 138 yards receiving and one touchdown.