Saints leaning against Malcolm Butler trade

Guregian Patriots loom as wild card to make for crazy NFL draft week         Karen Guregian     Sunday

It is highly unlikely that cornerback Malcolm Butler will be traded from the New England Patriots this offseason, sources confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and MMQB's Peter King have both reported the Patriots and New Orleans Saints are struggling to find an agreeable deal. Under different circumstances, perhaps the Saints would fork over a first-round draft pick and sign a blank check.

The Patriots and Butler's representatives had discussed a contract extension last offseason, and some involved in the negotiation believed a deal was close to being struck.

Butler, who was a restricted free agent, had previously not signed the tender in hopes that another National Football League team might sign him to an offer sheet before last Friday's deadline.

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According to the Boston Globe, Butler recently signed his first-round restricted free agent tender, which sets his salary at $3.91 million this season. In fact, our own Dan Kadar's latest mock draft has the Saints using their No. 32 pick on LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White.

New Orleans was obviously interested in Butler. Maybe the Saints and Butler revisit this deal when he hits the open market. This still doesn't rule out the Saints changing their offer depending on how their draft goes, but waiting until the after the draft produces a litany of new issues to overcome. This is how the current CBA more or less did away with contract holdouts. The Patriots, who signed former Bills corner Stephon Gilmore for $40 million guaranteed to play opposite Butler, appear to have known this all along.

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