The New England Patriots are reportedly willing to go great lengths to make a trade with the New Orleans Saints for Brandin Cooks.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Pats are considering using Malcolm Butler as trade bait to land the speedy receiver.
The New England Patriots are considering trading Malcolm Butler to the New Orleans Saints for Brandin Cooks per sources
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 9, 2017
This is some pretty stunning news. Butler is a key defender known for picking off Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl. He’s also a guy the Patriots were rumored to be very keen on keeping in house. The Patriots just tendered Butler at the first-round level, indicating their commitment to him, and it’s a given this offseason that he’d be a guy the Pats would hold onto for the long term.
But then the Stephon Gillmore signing happened, changing the game.
On paper … Patriots could replace Malcolm Butler with Stephon Gilmore, Martellus Bennett with Dwayne Allen, and add Brandin Cooks.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2017
After getting rebuffed once in a trade attempt with New Orleans for Cooks, however, it appears things have changed on this front. We’d still be shocked if the Patriots gave up Butler in exchange for Cooks.
That said, it’s not hard to imagine how the receiver might flourish in New England playing with Tom Brady in Josh McDaniels’ scheme. It’s also not hard to imagine the Saints would be intrigued by adding a defender of Butler’s ilk to their bare bones defense.
We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this in the coming days.