What Are The Patriots Doing With Malcolm Butler?

The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe tweeted on Monday that Butler's long-term deal that he had in place with the Saints was for over $50 million, which would have made him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.

The report alludes to the Saints and Butler having agreed to a multi-year contract offer if a trade can be completed, but the Saints don't want to relinquish a first-round pick to make the deal happen.

According to Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback, sending draft picks to the Patriots then giving Butler a hefty contract is "less attractive than it once seemed" for the Saints.

For the Patriots, they certainly don't have to trade Butler if the compensation in return isn't something that they like.

However, it is unlikely that Butler would return to New England following the 2017 season after the contract dispute. Per Reiss, the Patriots "don't have any qualms" in keeping Butler around at his $3.91 million salary.

Saints head coach Sean Payton hinted the team would be interested in a potential trade for Butler once he signed his tender. But the Saints have three picks in the first two rounds of this week's draft, and five in the first three rounds. They're increasingly rare in the National Football League under this CBA because all draft picks now sign four-year deals with slotted salaries.

All signs keep pointing toward Malcolm Butler staying in New England. If he were to hold out from the three-day mandatory minicamp in June, the Pats could fine him a maximum of $80,405. He's due to become an unrestricted free agent next year, and at that time he would be free to command as much as the free-agent market warrants. Butler was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2016.

  • Stacy Allen