Malcolm Butler’s days in New England appear numbered.
The Patriots cornerback was the subject of a lot of contract drama this offseason, waiting a month to sign his restricted free agent tender after the two sides were unable to agree on a new deal. Butler reportedly wanted to be traded to the New Orleans Saints, too, after a visit there, and he could eventually get to New Orleans — or anywhere else in the league — as NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said Thursday night that 2017 likely is Butler’s last season with the Pats.
“My understanding is this is expected to be his final season in New England,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “The reason is they invested a lot in Stephon Gilmore. They’re not going to franchise tag Butler, if he goes out and has another Pro Bowl season. They made a slew of offers for him over the last couple of years, none recently. They are really done negotiating. So the hope is he plays this year, kills it, goes and makes a lot of money for another team next year and they get a compensatory pick.”
Butler has been the No. 1 cornerback in New England since Darrelle Revis left after the 2014 season, but the Patriots already have that role filled by Gilmore if they do end up losing the 27-year-old in free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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