Sean Payton has let the NFL community know that they will not be signing an offer sheet for Malcolm Butler. Instead the Saints and Patriots will continue to discuss about a possible trade for Malcolm Butler. This comes, really, to the surprise of no one that the Saints weren’t going to go down that route. They didn’t want to give their 11th pick to the Patriots, seeing how they need it to rebuild. Butler will most likely sign his tender, and it’s up to Bill whether or not he wants to keep Butler or try to get that 11th pick from the Saints.
It really is difficult to tell whether or not Bill wants to keep Butler. They never reached out to him while he was in New Orleans; even after his visit they never contacted him. The Patriots like to play the waiting game; they’ve done it with Hightower, with Edelman, with others as well. Players will shop around and then come back to the Patriots and tell them the offers they got; then the Patriots decide if he’s worth those offers. Maybe they’re too good of offers for the Patriots to match, then maybe they’re awful offers and can take advantage of that.
Butler wants $10 million (supposedly), which the Patriots won’t do after spending that much on Gilmore. If anything Butler is worth more or less around $7 million; he’s a good corner, but not as good as Sherman, Norman, Peterson, those types of corners. Butler has only been on the scene for 2 years (from his first game as a starter), and the Patriots aren’t ready to cash in on him just yet. Gilmore has been in the league for 5 years and has proved that he can shut down the best wide receivers; not to say Butler hasn’t done it, but again Gilmore is more experienced.
So what happens next? Well I’d like to think that the Patriots finally end their silence and give Butler an extension he deserves. But in all likely hood Butler will probably hold out till the deadline to sign the offer sheet and wait to see if any other teams are willing to sign an offer sheet for him. It’s unlikely anyone will because no one is willing to give up a first round pick, especially to the Patriots. Another scenario/possibility is that Bill does trade Butler to the Saints for draft picks; whether that’s the 11th pick or 32nd pick or more, Bill needs draft picks. And if all of that doesn’t happen, then Butler will be playing for us in 2017 and maybe they’ll talk about extending his contract.
The draft is just a couple of weeks away and the clock is ticking on the Patriots and Saints on a possible trade.