Rapoport mentions that the two parties have exchanged proposals regarding a potential agreement and they aren’t believed to be too far apart. However, the Patriots are also involved in the matter and sources have told Rapoport that they have yet to get involved in any discussions with Butler about an extension or the Saints regarding potential trade compensation for him. As far as New England is concerned, until Butler signs his restricted tender, there really isn’t anything to discuss because that would put the wheels in motion.
If Butler signs his tender and the Saints give him an offer sheet, Rapoport adds that the Patriots are in a position to wait and see how this plays out because they could either get the No. 11 overall pick from the Saints, match New Orleans’ offer or just keep him at this one-year, $3.91 million tender.
Michael Giardi reports that Malcolm Butler remains focused on the Saints and the parameters of a deal are mostly in place. Although, Giardi says there’s still some quibbling over guaranteed included the deal.
In regards to compensation for Butler, Giardi points out that the Patriots and Saints can’t discuss this until he has signed his restricted tender. However, both sides are reportedly aware of what it would take to get a trade for Butler completed.
Giardi adds that the sense he’s gotten is that there’s a “bit of a game of a high stakes chicken” going on in regards to compensation for Butler between the Patriots and Saints. But Giardi says that New Orleans is “enamored” with Butler.
Yesterday, Jeff Howe mentioned that neither the Saints nor the Patriots believe the No. 11 overall pick would be included in a trade for Butler if a deal is completed.
Butler visited with the Saints last week, but the meeting concluded without an agreement on a long-term deal. The two parties are still expected to work on a deal in the coming weeks, so this is by no means an indication that talks have broken down.
The Patriots placed a first-round tender on Butler a few days ago that will cost them $3.91 million for the 2017 season and net them a first-round pick if he receives an offer sheet from another team and they elect to pass on matching it.
Butler, 27, wound up signing on with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama back in 2014. He played out the final year of his rookie contract.
In 2016, Butler appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots and recorded 63 tackles, one sack, four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and 17 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 7 cornerback out of 112 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding the Saints and Butler as the news is available.