The New England Patriots have strongly denied recent rumors about a potential trade involving star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Pats owner Robert Kraft has gone so far as to say it was “hogwash.”

However, it appears the Patriots may have been trying to move on from Gronk as recently as three days leading up to the NFL Draft.

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

Per a league source, the Patriots were calling other teams about a possible Gronkowski trade as recently as three days before the draft. Coincidentally (or not), Gronkowski ended nearly three months of uncertainty regarding his future by declaring publicly that he would play in 2018 only two days before the draft.

Shortly after Gronk publicly committed to the Pats, Peter King floated a theory that he did so to avoid getting traded. Maybe he was onto something after all.

It wasn’t specified who the Patriots were talking to or what the Patriots were asking for in exchange for Gronk. Florio floated out the name Baker Mayfield, the eventual No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns with whom the Patriots were revealed to have had an interest.

The Patriots’ supposed intentions of trading Gronk must have died down after he finally gave his commitment to play in 2018. They have since been concentrating on restructuring the tight end’s contract and will apparently get it done eventually.

But then again, no one truly knows what the Patriots might do. That’s likely why a rumor like last week’s Gronk scuttlebutt can still gain traction. They are a franchise that's is not afraid to pull the trigger on some huge moves, and at this point, it would be hard for them to do anything that would be completely surprising.