New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler is one conflicted dude based on reports right now as he pushes for the financial respect he feels he deserves.
On Sunday night, a report by Michael Giardi of CSN New England indicated Butler wants to find a new home and has been “extremely frustrated” by the Patriots’ position in contract negotiations.
Then on Monday morning, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported Butler has “received interest from several teams” but wants to be a “Patriot for life.”
All that said, I was given a strong indication Butler prefers to be a "Patriot for life." He wants to make it work in New England.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 13, 2017
It’s worth pointing out that Howe also noted the Patriots had previously offered Butler around $6-7 million last year, which is very low for top cornerbacks. He also reports the team told Butler it wouldn’t pay any cornerback more than $10 million, which must have been a slap in the face considering the massive deal Stephon Gilmore received in free agency last week (details here).
Then there were the rumors that New England was dangling Butler as trade bait to try and land receiver Brandin Cooks, who ultimately was landed without having to part with Butler.
What all this certainly signals to Butler and his camp is that he’s an expendable player. Of course, those who have followed the Patriots over the years know that pretty much everyone not named Tom Brady is an expendable player on Bill Belichick’s roster.
So, while Butler might want to remain a “Patriot for life,” it stands to reason that isn’t going to happen anyway.
With that in mind don’t be surprised if he and his representation continues to angle hard for another team to give up the first-round tender (which he reportedly still has not signed) needed to wrest him away from his current team.