Breer mentions that Butler did not start their Week 2 game against the Saints and has seen his playing reduced much like Jamie Collins did last year before he was surprisingly traded to the Browns before the October deadline.
As for a potential trade partner, Breer believes the Eagles could make sense for Butler. Breer adds that the Eagles could make LB Mychal Kendricks available for Butler, given that Kendricks could fill a big need for New England and has reportedly been on the trade block for a few years now.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media mentioned a few weeks ago that 2017 is expected to be Butler’s final season with the Patriots, as the team has already invested big money in Stephon Gilmore and are unlikely to use their franchise tag on Butler next year.
Rapoport adds that while the Patriots have made a number of offers to Butler over the years, they’re no longer negotiating with him and could instead be focused on recouping a compensatory pick in 2019 after he signs a free agent deal with another team.
During the offseason, the Saints showed serious interest in Butler as a restricted free agent, but ultimately declined to sign him to a tender or part with the kind of draft compensation it would have required to get him from the Patriots.
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 before signing a one-year restricted tender worth $3.91 million for the 2017 season.
In 2017, Butler has appeared in two games and recorded six tackles, no interceptions and a pass defense for the Patriots. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 41 cornerback out of 106 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Butler and his future in New England as the news is available.