Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that there is still a chance that the Saints and Patriots still could discuss a trade later on for restricted free agent CB Malcolm Butler.
- Mike Reiss points out that the Patriots couldn’t have made Butler part of the Brandin Cooks‘ trade that was agreed to Friday night because he has yet to sign his restricted tender.
Earlier in the week, Dianna Russini reported that the Patriots were considering trading Butler to the New Orleans Saints for Cooks, so his name clearly came up in trade talks.
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.
However, New England surprisingly signed CB Stephon Gilmore to a massive contract at the start of free agency, so it could be difficult for them to pay both Gilmore and Butler market-value contracts.
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.