Malcolm Butler trade rumors

Even if the Saints do not try to negotiate a trade with New England for Butler, other teams will likely call the Patriots to inquire about him. They'd risk losing Butler in 2018 free agency for nothing, but the prospect of a Butler-Gilmore duo could be too enticing for Bill Belichick to look past.

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler signed the team's tender offer on Friday, clearing the way for a possible trade to the New Orleans Saints.

MassLive's Kevin Duffy and Kevin Dillon discuss below.

What about a trade?

With the NFL Draft just a few days away, there have been plenty of New England Patriots rumors about what will happen with two key pieces. Despite that, Butler signed his restricted tender last week and he is not expected to holdout.

The initial thought here is that the Vikings and Saints play in week 1 of the 2017 season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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New Orleans was obviously interested in Butler.

The report noted that New Orleans likes this year's deep and loaded draft class too much to give up one of their picks. While that price is likely still in the negotiation phase, it would be interesting to see him take that kind of contract after averaging $14 million over the last three seasons in Minnesota.

Restricted free agents are players with three accrued seasons of service time. But Butler went undrafted.

Butler can skip the offseason program, including next month's OTAs, but those are voluntary anyway. If he were to stay away from training camp, he would be docked $40,000 per day.

Butler's best, most realistic option is to play his ass off in 2017.

NY has until May 3 to pick up the option on Beckham's rookie contract, a move considered procedural given that failing to do so would allow Beckham to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Every team in the National Football League could use a player like Butler.

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