However, Rapoport adds that the Saints and Butler are still motivated to get a deal done at some point.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Saints are currently meeting with restricted free agent CB Malcolm Butler in New Orleans. According to Rapoport, there’s momentum building towards the two parties finalizing a deal before he leaves town.
Rapoport previously mentioned that if the Saints and Butler can get an offer sheet in place, they would them trade talks with the Patriots.
A trade makes the most sense, as this would prevent the Saints from parting with their No. 11 overall pick and they could instead negotiate more reasonable compensation for Butler.
New Orleans has both the No. 11 and No. 32 overall picks, so it’s possible they could try to work something out for the Patriots former first-rounder. If the Patriots lose Butler as a free agent next year, they would recoup a third-round pick, which means New England is clearly going to be looking for better compensation than that in return for Butler.
For what it’s worth, some reports have mentioned that Butler could be seeking a similar contract to the five-year, $65 million deal with $31 million fully guaranteed Stephon Gilmore got from the Patriots last week.
Last night, Nick Underhill of the Advocate reported that Butler arrived ahead of scheduled for his meeting with the Saints.
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.