BOSTON (CBS) — In a rather stunning scene in the losing locker room in Detroit on Sunday night, Rob Gronkowski confirmed a report that said he threatened retirement in the offseason when he had been informed that Bill Belichick was close to trading the Patriots’ tight end to the Lions.
To help detail that wild offseason, Gronkowski’s brother, Chris, joined WEEI on Tuesday morning and helped explain what the star tight end was hoping to accomplish.
“He wanted to get paid what he deserved. He wanted to be paid as one of the top tight ends for once. It’s been a struggle for him to make that money,” Chris Gronkowski told Kirk & Callahan. “He just wanted to sit down and get paid what he deserved and what made sense for him. I didn’t figure the trade would ever happen. He wanted to stay in New England no matter what and that’s what ended up happening. He just wanted to be comfortable with what he was playing for.”
Chris — who had a brief NFL career himself as a fullback for Dallas, Indianapolis and Denver — also said that Rob was hoping to have more “freedom” in terms of his offseason training methods.
“He really just wanted to have more freedom is kind of what it came down to, and just some respect to do what he needs to get done,” Chris told WEEI. “So going into his eighth, ninth season, he knows what he needs to get done. He just wanted some more freedom and he wanted to get what he deserves.”
Chris’ interview came after he drew some attention on Sunday night for noting on Twitter that no Patriots receivers could get open, on a night when Rob Gronkowski received double coverage on nearly every snap.
Chris chalked up the near-trade as “communication errors” where Gronkowski and Belichick weren’t talking much, but he said that since the two had a meeting in April, there’s been no issue.