25 April, 2017
The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that a trade between the Saints and Patriots involving Butler is "unlikely" for both sides, but Butler did work out a potential long-term deal with the Saints in the process.
Butler signed a one-year, $3.91 million tender with the Patriots last Wednesday, which means New England has the opportunity to trade him. The 27-year-old cornerback has had an unbelievable NFL career, despite only being in the league for three years.
Butler has played in eight postseason games with five starts, and he made an interception at the goal-line that secured the win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. This still doesn't rule out the Saints changing their offer depending on how their draft goes, but waiting until the after the draft produces a litany of new issues to overcome. Bill Belichick would need the right offer to come his way if he's to give up a Pro Bowl-caliber corner playing for dirt cheap. The Saints believe that their board between 25 and 75 has a slew of players capable of contributing immediately, with grades close to each other, and the thought of dealing one or more picks for Butler, then paying him a huge contract, is less attractive than it once seemed. He has since risen in the Patriots ranks to be one of the league's best cornerbacks.More news: Canada: 104 men arrested in child prostitution probe
Butler and the Patriots discussed a long-term extension this offseason.
The Saints could use a player like Butler in their lineup. The Patriots have two important pieces they can trade for a first-round pick on Draft Day - quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and cornerback Malcolm Butler. Maybe the Saints and Butler revisit this deal when he hits the open market.