McElroy | Time for the Saints to move on from Malcolm Butler

Doyle BarkerApr 25, 2017

After delaying nearly until the deadline, Butler signed his one-year tender from the Patriots on April 18.

The Saints were hot after Butler early in the restricted free-agent process, even holding a visit with the corner. That was in the cards once Butler signed his offer sheet last week, especially because he and the Saints had reached an agreement on a framework for a long-term deal.

According to Peter King, the New England Patriots are unlikely to trade Butler.

With Butler remaining in New England, the defending champions will feature a defensive backfield of Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon and Eric Rowe, which is easily one of the best units in the league. New Orleans coach Sean Payton has already said the Saints would not give up the No. 11 pick, the team's top pick in Thursday's draft. Swinging another trade involving Butler (or backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who reportedly isn't for sale) would be the most obvious way for New England to move back into the first two rounds if it wishes to do so.

Over the past few months, there were reports going around that the Saints were interested in the one-time Pro Bowler.

Malcolm Butler may have to wait a year for a massive payday if Saints don't strike. The Saints believe that their board between 25 and 75 has a slew of players capable of contributing immediately, with grades close to each other, and the thought of dealing one or more picks for Butler, then paying him a huge contract, is less attractive than it once seemed.

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