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NFL Notes: Ronald Leary, Cowboys, Patriots, Saints & Drew Brees

Ronald Leary

  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that Cowboys G Ronald Leary, who has requested a trade out of Dallas, would face significant fines if he holds out into mandatory minicamp or training camp in the hope of being moved to a new team.
  • Had Leary not signed his restricted tender, he could have held out of all offseason workouts without penalty and possibly applied some additional pressure to the Cowboys to trade him.
  • The Dallas Morning News points out that Leary has removed all references to the Cowboys on Twitter page.

Patriots

  • Joel Corry mentions that Patriots CB Malcolm Butler has little leverage in his demand for a new contract, given that he only has two years of NFL experience.
  • Corry believes Butler may be in line for a first-round restricted tender for 2017, which would pay out between $3.925 – $3.95 million.
  • It’s likely that LBs Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower will be higher priorities for the Patriots when it comes to new deals over Butler, according to Corry.
  • In the end, Corry says that Butler’s best-case-scenario would be for him to secure a new deal similar to the one signed by Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict — four years, $20 million.
  • Butler has reportedly told teammates that he intends to push for a new contract with New England and has sat out the first week of the voluntary OTAs. (NFLTR)

Saints

Saints HC Sean Payton told Pro Football Talk Live on Friday that he isn’t surprised to hear that QB Drew Brees say that he doesn’t want to negotiate a contract during the season.

Just having seen the interview and his comments, they totally make sense,” Payton said on Friday. “It was the case [five] years back. You don’t want to be, A, as team or, B, as a player focusing on player contracts right during the middle of the season. . . . I wouldn’t say that there hasn’t been a sense of urgency with [G.M.] Mickey [Loomis] and [agent] Tom [Condon]. Those guys are the ones that are in contact and are the ones that are doing it. . . . I just know how Drew is and his focus and his ability to work and concentrate on the task at hand that won’t be altered, and that’s a strength of his.