NFL Trade Rumors: New England Patriots CB Malcolm Butler Accepts Tender, Trade Coming Soon?
New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has finally accepted his restricted free-agent tender after signing the said contract on Tuesday. Signing the $3.91 million tender meant that the team can now talk with interested clubs for a potential trade involving the two-time Super Bowl champion.
Butler, who turned 27 last month, has been mentioned in a lot of trade rumors this offseason after becoming a restricted free agent following his second Super Bowl win last season. However, the Patriots will not be able to pull off a deal unless Butler is officially under contract.
New England is said to be keen on trading Butler before he hits unrestricted free agency at the end of next season. With Butler's recent impressive performances, he is due to a significant salary increase, which the Patriots can no longer afford. Getting something in return is more beneficial for the team than losing Butler for nothing.
The former West Alabama standout has delayed signing the tender, as he is trusting that another NFL club could send him an offer sheet that the Patriots will have to match. However, with the deadline approaching this Friday, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound defender ultimately decided to accept the tender.
Butler was hosted by the New Orleans Saints during earlier this year and reports went out that a deal could be on the horizon for both parties. Butler was hoping for the Saints to hand him an offer sheet, but it never came, as New Orleans is rumored to be planning to acquire him via a trade.
"It's ongoing, if you will," said New Orleans head coach Sean Payton during Butler's visit, via ESPN. "For us, it was a chance to meet him, put him on the board, find out how much football he knows. I think it was a good step."
Payton then revealed that the team wants to get Butler thru a trade and that it can only happen once the cornerback signs a contract with New England. True enough, it looks like the Saints' plans are slowly unfolding.
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