Malcolm Butler Signs Restricted Free Agent Tender

Beth Cruz
April 20, 2017

This is an interesting development since the Patriots do not pick until No. 72. Or an earlier pick could be acquired in a different way.

Pending any possibe trades, they have only one more pick inside the top 100 - No. 96, also a third-rounder. His most memorable play came in the Super Bowl two seasons ago when he intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line in the Patriots victory.

Butler earned his first Pro Bowl invitation following the 2015 season.

"It's ongoing, if you will", Payton said at the time, pointing out that the Saints and Patriots couldn't have trade talks about Butler unless he was under contract. The two teams have been in discussion for over a month on ways to get Butler to New Orleans. At the cornerback position, Alabama's Marlon Humphrey and three Pac-12 defenders, Kevin King (Washington), Chidobe Awuzie (Colorado) and Fabian Moreau (UCLA) all possess the traits New England looks for. He visited with just one team, the Saints, during free agency.

(It's possible they trade him after the draft in a player-for-player swap or for 2018 picks, but that scenario seems unlikely).

Not only that, but New England's secondary would be poised to be one of the stronger units in the National Football League with Butler as well as fellow Pro Bowlers Devin McCourty and newcomer Stephon Gilmore.

"Malcolm Butler has proven he can play at the highest level in the NFL".

Although the Saints and Patriots may very well agree on a trade before the NFL Draft, it is doubtful the Saints will give up the 11th pick of the draft.

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