Restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots has been linked with a trade to the New Orleans Saints. However, the latest speculations suggest that the deal is not going to happen and Butler is staying in New England.
According to The Monday Morning Quarterback of Sports Illustrated, the Saints have decided against acquiring Malcolm Butler from the Patriots. It is because of the fact that they will lose a first-round draft pick or a second rounder.
The report noted that New Orleans likes this year’s deep and loaded draft class too much to give up one of their picks. The Saints and Patriots made a deal earlier this offseason wherein wide receiver Brandin Cooks found a new home in New England.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Globe added that there was even a $50 million deal in place for Malcolm Butler from the Saints. However, the Saints were very reluctant to sign him to an offer sheet because it would have cost them the 11th overall pick in the draft.
On the other hand, the Patriots are open to trading Malcolm Butler because they have already signed free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a massive five-year, $65 million. Despite that, Butler signed his restricted tender last week and he is not expected to holdout.
Howe also pointed out that the Malcolm Butler situation in New England will get resolved at the NFL draft later this week. The Patriots will either retain him or deal him to a different team. Nevertheless, Butler is expected to report to the team if he remains as part of the Patriots.
“Butler doesn’t intend to hold out in the absence of a new deal. The situation is expected to be resolved in one capacity or another by the end of this weekend’s draft. If he remains with the Patriots after the draft, it’s conceivable that he’d report to Gillette in short order,” Howe reported.
If Malcolm Butler remains in New England, the Patriots will have one of the best and scariest backfields in the NFL. Butler joins Patrick Chung, Stephon Gilmore, Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty and Eric Rowe.
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