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:
2018 Rob Gronkowski trade:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2020
Lions receive Gronkowski and a second-round pick (No. 43.)
Patriots receive a first-round pick (No. 20) and a second-round pic (No. 51)
2020 Gronkowski trade:
Buccaneers receive Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick.
Patriots receive a fourth-round pick.
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:
Sources: The #Dolphins have called the teams in front of them for a possible trade up from No. 5 and are gauging the price to come up to No. 3 to potentially take an offensive tackle. We could see a run on tackles in the Top 10 like never before.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 22, 2020
- 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.
- Fantastic story from Stephen Holder (Athletic subscription required) on how former Lions scout Chad Henry (now with the Colts) beat cancer and how it changed his life perspective.
- Reminder: There are still a lot of talented players in free agency left:
Remaining free agents leading into the NFL Draft:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 22, 2020
- Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire has 7 things he thinks he knows about the Lions’ 2020 NFL Draft.
- A wonderful memory to brighten your day: