'A bunch of hogwash': Robert Kraft squashes Rob Gronkowski trade rumors

Late last week, rumors swirled that the New England Patriots explored trade opportunities for star tight end Rob Gronkowski.

There was even one report saying that a deal was on the table, but team owner Robert Kraft put a stop to it. On Tuesday night, Kraft addressed the situation.

“It’s a bunch of hogwash”

Kraft, at Gillette Stadium for the annual Myra Kraft Community MVP awards, was quick to address the speculation to reporters. He brought up the Gronk rumors unprompted, according to the Boston Herald.

“When your team is good, people are looking for things. I’ll just tell you it’s a bunch of hogwash that I vetoed some trade,” Kraft said. “That was never in the works. It’s just completely made up. And I think we have to be careful in society that people just can’t come out and say things. This bit about us trading Gronk 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 record to make sure you all understand there’s no truth to that.”

Rob Gronkowski wants a new contract

After dealing with a series of injuries and catching a career-low 25 passes in 2016, Gronkowski came back in a big way in 2017 with 69 catches for 1,084 yards in 14 games. The eight-year veteran has two years remaining on his current contract and is set to make $8 million with a $650,000 roster bonus in 2018. That’s around $2 million less than he earned in 2017.

Gronkowski, who opted to skip the voluntary portion of OTAs, made it clear when he reported for minicamp last week that he was “trying to” rework the deal with the hopes of coming to a resolution before the season begins. That would be the third contract for the oft-injured, but terrifically productive tight end.

29 PHOTOS
Rob Gronkowski through his career
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Rob Gronkowski through his career
FOXBOROUGH, MA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
DETROIT - NOVEMBER 21: New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski signals first down in front of Detroit Lions DeAndre Levy after Gronkowski's 26-yard reception during fourth quarter action at Ford Field on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
26 December 2010: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) talks to New England Patriots Owner Rober Kraft (r) during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. (Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - NOVEMBER 6: New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski's 19 yard reception as he runs past New York Giants Mathias Kiwanuka during 4th quarter action at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - DECEMBER 4: The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (#87) avoids a tackle by the Colts' A.J. Edds (#52) and leaves Ernie Sims (#55) behind, scoring his 3rd touchdown of the game in the 3rd quarter. The New England Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium, in week 13 of the NFL regular season, in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 28: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is all smiles as he talks to a TV photographer around his locker after being named to the Pro Bowl team. The Patriots were preparing for Sunday's regular season finale today at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 14: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (#87) catches a deep pass from Tom Brady (#12) for 28 yards to the Denver 4-yard-line and is pushed out of bounds by S Rafael Bush (#36). The New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in the 2012 AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2011. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - FEBRUARY 5: New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (#87) on the field during pregame warmup before the start of Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11: (L-R) Brothers Dan Gronkowski, Gordie Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski and Glenn Gronkowski arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 3: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (left) and tight end Rob Gronkowski after they hooked up on a 19-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The New England Patriots hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium, Nov. 3, 2013. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 8: Teammates, including Stevan Ridley (#22), rally around Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as he is about to be carted off the field with a leg injury. The New England Patriots hosted the Cleveland Browns in an NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects - The guests for MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2 included New England Patriots and Super Bowl XLIX Champion Rob Gronkowski, actress Eva Longoria ('A Path Appears') and musical guest WeeZ Top mash up of Weezer and ZZ Top. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 5: (Third quarter) New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski's tongue out touchdown reception against the Cincinnati Bengals during third quarter action at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 5, 2014. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 16: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 16, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Patriots defeated the Colts 42-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates after a first down reception against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of the NFL game at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates while holding up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks as Tom Brady #12 looks on during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
February 4, 2015: Rob Gronkowski pounds another beer. The New England Patriots paraded through the streets of Boston to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: New England Patriots football player Rob Gronkowski throws a Clipper color football to the fans during a time out in the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 9, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 89-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots looks on late in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 25: Tom Brady #12 and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots react after Gronkowski scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 25, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 29: New England Patriots Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski pumps his fist after getting injured on a pass play against the Denver Broncos during fourth quarter action. The Denver Broncos hosted the New England Patriots for a regular season NFL game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates scoring his second touchdown with teammates in the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 19: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots prepares to throw out the first pitch before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants at Fenway Park on July 19, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 13: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski smiles as he speaks to reporters before the Patriots practiced at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Oct. 13, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 07: Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots celebrate during the Super Bowl victory parade on February 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is tackled by Tom Brady #12 after stealing his jersey before the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park on April 3, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Tight end Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots stands with teammates during the national anthem before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 12, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots walks to the locker room after warming up for a game against the Buffalo Bills on December 3, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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New England has a history of moving on from veterans

We’ve seen it with the likes of Logan Mankins and Richard Seymour, both of whom were great players for the Patriots but traded at similar points in their careers. So would it really be all that surprising if the team explored trades for Gronkowski?

After all, Gronk hinted after the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia that he was mulling retirement. It took a few months for him to proclaim publicly that he would return to the field. He’s a guy who has dealt with an array of serious injuries. From a business perspective, it makes sense for a team to be hesitant about committing additional money to a player whose future has been uncertain at multiple points.

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Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick together
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Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick together
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 29: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and head coach Bill Belichick arrive to a Patriots rally held to send the team off to the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Jan 29, 2018. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts with head coach Bill Belichick after catching a touchdown pass during the third quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) argues his case to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, and an on field official after an altercation involving Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White during the fourth quarter. The New England Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills in a regular season NFL football game at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY on Dec. 3, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 03: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots, left, and head coach Bill Belichick during a practice session ahead of Super Bowl LI on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia stand for the playing of the national anthem before the start of NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 30, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - SEPTEMBER 20: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke to tight end Rob Gronkowski as the Patriots held an afternoon practice at the practice field at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sept. 20, 2016. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots speaks to Rob Gronkowski #87 in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 16: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski gets a high-five from coach Bill Belichick after he made a touchdown in the third quarter. The New England Patriots hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski gets a pat on the shoulder from head coach Bill Belichick following a first quarter reception. The New England Patriots visited the Houston Texans in a regular season NFL football game at NRG Stadium, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
4/23/15 - The White House- Washington DC President Barack Obama welcomes 2015 SuperBowl Champions, The New England Patriots to the White House. Robert Kraft, Owner, Bill Belichick, Head Coach and players Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski,and Devin McCourty answer questions from reporters after the ceremony. photos by: Christy Bowe- ImageCatcher News (Photo by ImageCatcher News Service/Corbis via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots hugs Rob Gronkowski #87 after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 1: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, right, gets a pat from a smiling head coach Bill Belichick, left, after the game. The New England Patriots hosted the Buffalo Bills in an NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD - NOVEMBER 13: Patriots head coach Bill Belichick helps up tight end Rob Gronkowski after he was knocked out of bounds following a fourth quarter catch. The New England Patriots visited the New York Jets in a regular season NFL game at MetLife Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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