Malcolm Butler’s agent is attempting to get his client out of New England, according to a report Sunday night by Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Derek Simpson, who represents the Patriots cornerback, reportedly is searching for a team that would be willing to sacrifice a first-round pick to sign Butler, a restricted free agent, away from his current club.
Because the Patriots tendered Butler at a first-round level, a team would need to relinquish a top-round pick and offer a contract the Patriots wouldn’t match in order to sign the 27-year-old defensive back.
According to La Canfora, Butler is seeking a contract in the neighborhood of the five-year, $65 million deal former Buffalo Bills corner Stephon Gilmore signed with the Patriots this week.
Gilmore’s signing put Butler’s future with the team into question. If Butler signs his tender — which he had yet to do as of Sunday night — he’ll make $3.91 million in salary this season. Gilmore is set to make $13 million.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported Thursday the Patriots were considering trading Butler to the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. New England ended up acquiring Cooks for a package of draft picks instead, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported a trade of Butler to the Saints still was a possibility.
Butler cannot be traded until he signs his tender with the Patriots.
UPDATE (Sunday, March 12 at 10:48 p.m. ET): From CSNNE’s Mike Giardi:
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