Robert Kraft had something he wanted to get off of his chest. Speaking to reporters at the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards event at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, he took an open-ended question about last week's minicamp as an opportunity to address trade rumblings that surfaced late last week.
"First of all it was nice to have everyone here . . . I'll just comment on one thing. And I guess when you're team is good, people are looking for things," Kraft began. "I'd just tell you it's a bunch of hogwash that, you know, some trade . . . That was never in the works. It was just completely made up.
"I think we have to be careful in society today that people can't just come out and say things. This bit about us trading [Rob Gronkowski] to the 49ers or Tennessee. There's no basis to it, and it gets a life of its own. I just want to go on the record at today's event to make sure that you all understand that there's no truth to that. People shouldn't be able to do that."
Freelance writer Adam Kurkjian reported on Friday that Bill Belichick wanted to trade Gronkowski and that there were "offers on the table" with both the Titans and 49ers. Kurkjian reported further that Kraft and Belichick had a meeting to discuss the deal, and that Tom Brady threatened to retire if a trade went through.
Kurkjian later tweeted a quote from director of Patriots media relations Stacey James, shooting down the veracity of the report: "I would say with the utmost confidence that none of that is true. None of it."
I've been told by two league sources that there was no Gronkowski trade in the works. Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and Mike Giardi reported on Friday that there was no Gronkowski trade imminent.
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Later in the day on Friday, Curran cited sources who told him that the Patriots engaged in trade discussions involving Gronkowski earlier in the offseason. Giardi spoke to a source who told him that the Patriots were intent on moving up the draft board prior to draft weekend. Another source told Curran that Gronkowski was never "shopped."
Gronkowski had a meeting with agent Drew Rosenhaus and Belichick in late April, after which ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Gronkowski would not be traded this season. "It was very positive and Rob is committed," Rosenhaus told Schefter. Prior to that, Gronkowski had been non-committal about playing football in 2018.
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