Breer adds that Butler could wait until closer to the draft to sign his restricted tender with the Patriots, which could start the process of New England speaking with interested teams about potential trades involving Butler.
From there, Breer expects the Saints to have an offer ready for the Patriots to consider and he believes it’s “most likely” Butler is playing in New Orleans than New England in 2017.
Last week, Michael Giardi reported that Butler is “attacking his workouts” and plans on “proving” his worth this year, even if he has to play under the restricted tender.
A source close to Butler tells Giardi that Butler is “not over” the Patriots’ decision to sign CB Stephon Gilmore deal or consider a possible trade for Seahawks CB Richard Sherman but knows he “can’t change it.”
Butler visited with the Saints a few weeks ago but left New Orleans without signing an offer sheet with them. Sean Payton later confirmed that they have no plans to sign him to an offer sheet, which would cost the Saints their No. 11 overall pick.
The Patriots placed a first-round tender on Butler a few months 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.