Why the Rob Gronkowski trade rumors are back in force

Rob Gronkowski appears to still be on the trading block.

Gronkowski vowed to return for another season in New England, amid mounting speculation the five-Pro Bowler would retire following the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Yet, his contract — a major sticking point — has yet to be adjusted, leading some around the league to assume the tight end is available.

“Where’s the restructure of his contract?” an AFC personnel executive told Greg Bedard of BostonSportsJournal.com. “Until that’s done, I think he’s still available. I wouldn’t be surprised if [Bill] Belichick is going to test Gronk’s buy-in with the contract.”

Gronkowski, 29, is said to be getting a new contract, though an insider said last month “nothing is imminent.” He was reportedly shopped days before this year’s draft, and later rumored to be on the trading block ahead of the Patriots’ minicamp. Team owner Robert Kraft dismissed the reports as “hogwash.”

“I guess when your team is good, people are looking for things,” Kraft said in June, via NESN.com. “I’ll just tell you it’s a bunch of hogwash that I vetoed some trade that was never in the works. It’s just completely made up. And I think we have to be careful in society today 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.”

Gronkowski inked a six-year, $54 million contract extension in June 2012, which included an $8 million signing bonus.

Training camp commences July 26, which Gronkowski is expected to attend.

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