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Saints Won’t Sign RFA CB Malcolm Butler To Offer Sheet

On Wednesday, Saints HC Sean Payton told reporters that they won’t sign restricted free agent CB Malcolm Butler to an offer sheet and will instead only consider a trade for him, per Nick Underhill.

Payton added that the situation with Butler is still ongoing and could some time for something to happen, per Larry Holder.

Signing Butler to an offer sheet would cost the Saints their No. 11 overall pick, which is why a trade seems much more likely if a deal is to get done.

Last we heard regarding the Saints and Butler, Ian Rapoport reported that two parties have “mutual interest” in a long-term deal.

Rapoport mentioned that Butler and the Saints 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.

Butler visited with the Saints a few weeks ago, 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.