Malcolm Butler signs restricted free agent tender with New England
The New England Patriots have signed restricted free agent Malcolm Butler to a first-round tender, though he could still be on the move, per Field Yates of ESPN. If that doesn't happen, the Saints are expected to offer the Patriots a trade for Butler once he signs his $3.91 million tender.
The trade talks between the Saints and Patriots for cornerback Malcolm Butler could heat back up very soon. The Patriots could always look to hold on to Butler with the hopes of working out a long-term extension prior to the July 15 deadline, or could let him play under the tender in 2017, pairing him alongside recently signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Saints coach Sean Payton said at the National Football League meetings last month the team plans to add two cornerbacks this offseason and showed his interest in Butler.
The Patriots now hold no first or second-round selections in the upcoming draft, but the Saints have shown interest in Butler, brining him in for a visit earlier in free agency. He has six interceptions and 36 passes defensed.
Butler, now 27, was an undrafted free agent who during his rookie season of 2014 intercepted Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line in the final minutes of the Super Bowl to secure the victory for the Patriots.
With the draft just over a week away, there could be more rumors between now and then, but it appears Garoppolo will be spending another season backing up Tom Brady in New England.