Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
Well, my suspicions have been confirmed — the Saints will not sign Malcolm Butler to an offer sheet. They will not give the eleventh pick in the draft to the Patriots for Butler.
On signing Butler to an offer sheet and giving up No. 11 overall, Payton says "I know we're not going to do that."
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 29, 2017
Here's Sean Payton's full quote explaining the Saints won't sign Malcolm Butler to an offer sheet: pic.twitter.com/tJ0YGQnuJY
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 29, 2017
If you read my blog on this same topic from a couple of weeks ago, you know this had already been reported. When the Butler to New Orleans talks were the hottest, every insider under the sun let us know that an offer sheet signing would be unlikely. This is just Sean Payton confirming it.
However, that does not mean Malcolm Butler will be playing in New England next year. A trade between the two organizations is still possible, and Payton also confirmed that that’d be the only way for the Saints to acquire him.
Payton says any talk of Butler trade would be speculation, but implication is that if they're going to get him that's how it'll have to be.
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) March 29, 2017
Again, if you read my blog(s) from a couple of weeks ago, you know how I feel about this whole thing. I want the Patriots to sign Butler to an extension. I understand that the Patriots hold all of the cards and there is no need to pay more than necessary for Butler’s services, but he deserves the money.
For the past two seasons, he’s made pennies compared to his counterparts, but has played better than most of them? Don’t believe me? Here:
(via Pro Football Focus)
Malcolm Butler was the fifth best cornerback in football this year (according to PFF). That’s pretty damned good — better than anything the Pats have on the roster now, and better than any draft pick the team could get in return.
I feel like I’ve said this a million times, but I guess I’ll say it again — I understand the Patriot Way. Seriously, I get it. What Malcolm Butler has done for New England already, isn’t important. Bill Belichick and the rest of the front office staff isn’t interested in paying for past performance.
While I agree with that mindset, this Butler situation is a little different. He’s a twenty-seven year old, top-flight cornerback, who’s gotten better in each of the last three seasons and has given us no reason to believe he’s not prepared to keep doing so. I don’t know about you, but I want a guy like that on my team. And, I’d want a guy like that on my team for at least a couple more years.
Though, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case with Malcolm Butler. Robert Kraft told the media that he doesn’t intend for the team to trade him:
Robert Kraft on Malcolm Butler: “I hope he’s with us.”
So the intention isn’t to trade him?
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 27, 2017
But we all know that BB is the one calling the shots when it comes to personnel. If he thinks he can move Butler and get something valuable in return, he’s going to do just that. I’d hate for that to happen — no draft pick he can trade for is as valuable as Butler — but I’ve been a fan of this team long enough to understand Belichick’s MO. If he really wants to trade Butler, he will.
Assuming no other team swoops in and signs him to an offer sheet before April 21st, Butler will sign the $3.91M tender with New England and Belichick will be able to do with him what he pleases. The draft begins only six days later, and as his track record dictates, BB treats those three days like they’re open season. (Jesus, I hate talking like this.)
I’m not saying that will happen, but I’m saying it’s a possibility. All offseason long, we’ve heard about a potential Butler trade and Sean Payton confirmed that, that is the only way the Saints are getting Butler.
Until something happens, though, we’ll just have to sit back and wait.
P.S. I understand that things are falling into place for Butler to get paid next offseason. If he signs the $3.91M tender and plays another season in New England, he could be rewarded by the Patriots for that. However, after the team told him they’d never pay a cornerback $10M/YR and then signed Stephon Gilmore for $15M, Butler was hurt. Even if he has a monster 2017-18 and the Pats are ready to give him more money next offseason, there’s no saying how willing he’ll be not to bolt the second he becomes unrestricted. I’d rather pay him now and ensure more time with Butler than keep doing this bullshit and lose him after one season.