New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler signed his restricted free agent tender on Tuesday. It wasn’t necessarily too big of a surprise, but in no way does that mean Butler will remain with the Patriots.
There’s still a strong possibility that New England could trade Butler during the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. The former Super Bowl hero took in a visit with the New Orleans Saints when he was on the restricted free agent market.
The Saints and Patriots have also worked together in the recent past with the latter acquiring Brandin Cooks in a trade last month.
In talking about his current contract situation, Butler really didn’t seem interested in getting into detail.
Just spoke to CB Malcolm Butler. He didn't want to speak much on his situation: "I just want to play football, win & be a great dad." #Pats
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 19, 2017
Again, not a terrible surprise. Though, it is interesting that he wouldn’t fully commit to New England for the upcoming 2017 season.
There’s a lot of moving parts here. The Patriots added a high-priced cornerback in Stephon Gilmore during free agency. Are they willing to actually pay two corners top-10 money? That’s a huge question heading into the draft.
Secondly, New England exhausted a ton of capital in adding the likes of Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen in separate trades last month. Surely, the defending champs will be looking to recoup some of those picks here soon.
It’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on. But we wouldn’t be surprised if Butler found himself traded during the draft. The writing seems to be on the wall here, and his latest comments don’t quiet the rumors one bit.