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Notes: Details emerge on Detroit Lions’ failed 2018 trade for Rob Gronkowski

A look at what the Lions were willing to pay for Gronkowski back in 2018.

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NFL: New England Patriots at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expedited a trade that sent formerly-retired tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reuniting the All Pro tight end with All Pro quarterback Tom Brady. The move cost the Bucs a fourth-round pick to acquire both Gronk and a seventh-round pick from the Pats.

And since the Gronk trade was completed, it unearthed the two-year-old story about when the Detroit Lions very nearly acquired Gronkowski in a trade of their own. At the time, it was reported that Detroit nearly paid a first-round pick to get the tight end, but Gronkowski turned down the trade by threatening to retire.

Turns out both of those rumors were essentially true. This week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed the full breakdown of that 2018 trade proposal:

So the Lions would’ve sent a little less than a first-round pick for Gronk. They would’ve sent their 2018 first-round pick, but they would’ve moved up eight spots in the second round. For fun, here’s what those draft picks turned into:

Lions 20th overall pick: Frank Ragnow

Ironically enough, the Lions and Patriots would end up swapping the 43rd and 51st pick anyways, as Detroit traded up to get Kerryon Johnson, sending an additional fourth to New England. The Patriots traded down again from that 51 pick.

As a reminder, last year, Gronk addressed that moment in his career, laughing off his decision to feign retirement to avoid landing in Detroit.

  • Tuesday’s notes led with a rumor suggesting the Dolphins may trade up to Pick 3 to grab an offensive lineman. Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network heard the same rumor:

  • Two more local mock drafts came in under the wire. Both Justin Rogers and Benjamin Raven have the Lions landing Jeff Okudah after a trade down.

  • Reminder: There are still a lot of talented players in free agency left:

  • A wonderful memory to brighten your day:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.