Cornerback Malcolm Butler showed up to voluntary OTAs last week after he was not traded before or during the NFL Draft. But is he really happy to be back with the New England Patriots or just content to play out the season?
Last Monday, New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler reported to voluntary workouts for the first time this offseason. While showing up at Gillette Stadium, it was reported that Butler was “all-in” for the 2017 season, and the two sides had already started negotiating an extension.
But then on Thursday, CSNNE’s Mike Girardi reported Butler “badly” wanted to be traded to the New Orleans Saints. Before Butler signed his restricted free-agent tender, he visited with the Saints. After the two sides could not work out a trade, Butler signed his $3.91 million tender with the Patriots.
“He wanted to be traded,” Giardi said on CSNNE’s “Early Edition.” “He knew what the money was in New Orleans. So when we talk about him, ‘Oh, he’s happy. It’s nice that he’s joined his teammates again.’ He had no other choice.”
Butler is set to make nearly $10 million less than New England’s new cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The former Buffalo Bill was the team’s top free-agent signing who agreed on a five-year, $65 million contract.
“(Butler) wanted New Orleans,” Giardi added. “He wanted them badly. They couldn’t work out a deal. So what’s he supposed to do now? Sit at home? No, you suck it up. You have to turn yourself back into a Patriot at least for a year and hope. Who knows, maybe you do your work and maybe they say, ‘Hey, Malcolm, you know what, we can’t give you Gilmore money. But maybe we can find something. Maybe we’ve got $10 or $11 million.’ ”
With a crowded secondary for the 2017-18 season, Butler still projects to be New England’s No. 1 overall cornerback. With another solid season, Butler should be able to cash in this offseason, whether that is with the Patriots or not.