Here's how the Brandin Cooks trade will reportedly affect Rob Gronkowski's future

For the past two months, there's been a lot of questions about Rob Gronkowski's future in New England, and it appears we might have finally gotten the answer to one of the big ones on Tuesday. 

According to ESPN.com, the Patriots will not be trading Gronk this offseason. After dealing wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Rams and losing Danny Amendola to the Dolphins, it appears that the Patriots have decided to hold on to the pass-catchers they have left, a group that includes Gronk, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan

Gronk's future with the Patriots has been up in the air since the Super Bowl, when he announced that he was contemplating retirement

"I don't know how you heard that, but I mean I'm definitely going to look at my future, for sure," Gronkowski said after the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles. "I'm going to sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I'm at."

It's been more than eight weeks since Gronk made those comments and he still hasn't announced whether or not he's going to return. One thing that has possibly been holding Gronk back from returning is the nature of his relationship with Bill Belichick. According to ESPN.com, Gronk has been having issues with Belichick, which is one reason why he started contemplating retirement in the first place. Over the weekend, it was also reported that Belichick has been a little frustrated with Gronk, which led to some speculation that the Patriots coach might look to dump off his star tight end in a trade.

However, it now appears that a Gronk trade is completely off the table: If he does return to play in 2018, it's definitely going to be with the Patriots. 

The good news for New England is that Gronk seems to be leaning toward making a return. According to ESPN.com, Gronk is "pretty certain" he's going to play football this year. 

With Gronk likely in tow, it will be interesting to see what the Patriots do in the NFL Draft. Thanks to the Cooks deal, New England now has four of the top 63 picks in draft. Our Will Brinson decided to take a look at what the Patriots might do with their extra ammo, and you can check that out by clicking here. As for who the Patriots might go after in the draft? Our NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso lists four quarterbacks New England might look at to replace Tom Brady in a story you can read by clicking here

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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