Saints won’t rule out trade for Malcolm Butler

By Vincent Frank

The New Orleans Saints were able to add an elite-level cornerback prospect in Marshon Lattimore with one of their two first-round picks on Thursday. It’s a move the team needed to make after finishing in the bottom three of the NFL against the pass in each of the past two seasons.

Though, in no way does this mean that New Orleans is ruling out adding a veteran cornerback via a trade as Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft gets going.

When discussing a potential trade for either Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots or Los Angeles Rams corner Trumaine Johnson, head coach Sean Payton would not close the door on that possibility.

“All of those things still remain open,” Payton said Friday, via ESPN. “If we’re in the draft at some point and we feel like the grade on a particular player is such.”

Unfortunately for Saints fans looking to watch an elite secondary next season, New England is not trading Butler for anything less than a first-round pick. Now that we’re through with Day 1 of the draft, that seems likely a highly unlikely situation unless the Saints offer up picks in next year’s draft.

Johnson is a different monster. The former third-round pick signed his franchise tag tender with Los Angeles last month. Immediately after that, Johnson himself was reportedly placed on the trade block. There’s surely a scenario here where the Rams might offer him up for a second-round pick.

Unlike Thursday’s action, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see multiple veterans moved over the final two days of the draft. Whether the Saints get in on that action remains to be seen.

What we do know is that New Orleans met with Butler when he was a restricted free agent. The team also engaged in trade discussions with the Patriots about the former Super Bowl hero. Maybe something will work out before the draft concludes.