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Patriots Talk: Understanding The Malcolm Butler Situation

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Patriots Talk: Understanding The Malcolm Butler Situation

by Stephen Hilton

Free Agency has officially begun and it was fast, sudden and loud! As of yesterday, It has been stated by multiple sources that negotiations have broken down with New England Patriots‘ star [Cornerback] Malcolm Butler to be resigned to a long-term deal and it has been hinted that he might be replaced by [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore who was picked up yesterday from the Buffalo Bills as a free agent. He will be paid for five years worth sixty-five million, forty million guaranteed. That is a shockingly huge contract for a player that the Patriots just got that isn’t one of their own players. Even stats can’t be argued that Butler is a significantly better player than Gilmore is.

What could force the Patriots to sign such a massive contract in the first place? According to the rumors, it was first reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini that there were discussions about a potential trade in the works.  The rumors state that Malcolm Butler is on the trading block and is being part of an exchange with the New Orleans Saints for [Wide Receiver] Bradin Cooks.

From where everything currently stands, one simply wonders what is going on with Bill Belichick. He is already losing both starting cornerbacks for the 2017 season, as Logan RyanLogan Ryan is now signed by the Tennessee Titans for 3 years, for thirty million total. Is losing Butler really worth the risk it will do for the secondary next season? We will not know since this is the first- I’m kidding. This has happened a number of times. People were upset with the deals Belichick has done, such as Lawyer Milloy or Vince Wilfork to name just a few names. They lost cornerbacks such as Ty Law in 2005 and they still managed to go to the Super Bowl that season. Same with Asante Samuel in 2007 after Super Bowl XLII. No matter how bad this situation may seem, Belichick has always found a way to get around his short comings.

 

However, what would start this whole story in the first place? There have been several reports by sources such as Mike Lombardi who wrote a piece for the Ringer yesterday titled Why NFL Teams Shelled Out Millions for the Biggest Free Agents. When it came to the Patriots’ signing of Stephon Gilmore, Lombardi stated:

The Patriots kept trying to sign Malcolm Butler to a long-term extension and kept coming up empty — the underpaid hero of Super Bowl XLIX is looking for the moon and then some. Who could blame him?

Butler asking ‘for the moon’ is a tend bit much considering that SuperBowl XLIX would have been very different if he didn’t make that he interception. In the 2 years since then, he has had much success, selected to a Pro-Bowl and Second-Team All Pro in addition to winning Super Bowl LI this year. Many would argue that Butler has earned his right for a big pay-day. However, Malcolm Butler’s agent, Derek Simpson, has denied these allegiances. He was speaking with ESPN’s Mike Reiss and stated:

“The Patriots haven’t approached Malcolm about his contract since last year, and anything that says he keeps asking for the moon is completely false,” Simpson told Reiss.

This is where things start to get very interesting. So who is really giving the more detailed picture here? Some believe that Derek Simpson is the center of the whole controversy. The simple reason is: Simpson has never worked for any NFL players with the exception of Malcolm Butler. The man has only negotiated with one NFL team: The New England Patriots. Guess how many contracts he has worked on? Two. The first was Butler’s rookie contract and his current contract (that is seemingly becoming more unlikely to be settled). So we have an agent who has never worked in getting an extension for an NFL player before and the fact that it’s been a year since the last time that he was called should be very telling of the situation.

However, there other sources that can confirm that the trade is possible as the Saints are also moving their wide receiving corps with the signing of Teddy Ginn Jr.

This is unexpected since the Saints’ current group of wide receivers are (according to spotrac.com):

  • Brandin Cooks (unrestricted free agent in 2019)
  • Michael Thomas (unrestricted free agent in 2020)
  • Corey Fuller (unrestricted free agent in 2018)
  • Willie Snead (restricted free agent in 2018)
  • Brandon Coleman (restricted free agent in 2018)
  • Tommylee Lewis (restricted free agent in 2019)
  • Jake Lampman (exclusive rights free agent in 2018)
  • Rashad Lawrence (exclusive rights free agent in 2018)
  • Jordan Williams (exclusive rights free agent in 2019)

As of now, none of their current wide receiving receivers are being released until next season, so signing Teddy Ginn Jr. seems a little too early of a move unless the Brandin Cooks trade is officially underway. There is no certainty to this but it is very odd that a wide receiver is being brought onto a team  when there is already plenty on the roster. If anything, the trade for Malcolm Butler will give the Saints’ help on their secondary as their defense last year was arguably the second worst defense in the NFL in 2016.

Now after saying all of this and discussing about Butler’s future, many have forgotten that Butler still has yet to sign his first round tender. As a restricted free agent, and one who is more than likely on the trading block, Butler has virtually no say in what his fate will ultimately be if he doesn’t sign the tender. He simply needs to sign that for a one year deal worth around 4 million and he will remain a Patriot till next season. Until then he cannot be traded. Unfortunately, Butler will not have any say in this as he will be left no choice unless he get a long term done and at the rate things are going, I doubt we will get time to find out until it’s already too late.

 

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: 27-23 Loss To Texans Shows Need For Improvement

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Patriots Talk: 27-23 Loss To Texans Shows Need For Improvement

It’s hard to believe that the Patriots still won their fifth Super Bowl at NRG Stadium (the second time in the team’s history this has happened since Super Bowl 38).

With this game, the Patriots were competing with the Houston Texans lead by former Patriots OC Bill O’Brien but the difference between the two was fairly clear: The team still has a lot of question marks on their depth chart. After Saturday night’s game, much of the team showed some good but there was quite a bit of bad.

Despite, this being the first preseason game that Rob Gronkowski played since 2012, he was relatively non-factor since the starters were only in the game for the 1st quarter only. In fact, the majority of the Patriots starters including Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks were among those who played in the first quarter.

Here is who stood out and what ultimately burned out. Just click the next button to continue.

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Patriots Bits and Pieces- Super Bowl Confetti and More

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The Bits and Pieces of a Patriots Weekend

Well, you know what they say about pre-season football in the NFL?

No really, do you know because I do not. I do know that it is never a good indication of how the regular season may pan out for any team. It is still a trial period for most teams and coaches to try new plays, let some rookies and newbies get some playtime, and for the New England Patriots, return to the site of last year’s Super Bowl and remember their amazing second-half come from behind victory in which I am still awe-struck.

Here some bits and pieces of what went down in Houston. And with a fumbling backup quarterback, a star defensive end not in action, and a 27-23 loss; I hope the Patriots don’t have a problem in regular season.

The Patriots got a friendly reminder of Super Bowl LI when they returned to Houston’s NRG Stadium Saturday night. Red and blue confetti were found in the Microsoft Surface phone system along the sideline. Could this be a sign from the football gods that the Pats are destined to go the distance again this year?

Tight End Rob Gronkowski played his first preseason game since 2012. The Gronk’s non-play up until now was based on coach’s decisions to limit exposure to injuries the star tight end was recovering from. Gronkowski for 14 of the team’s first 16 plays, but he finished with no catches and no targeted passes.

“It felt good to be out there, get my feet wet, to get the speed of the game. I love to play football,” Gronkowski said.

On the other side of the football, defensive end Trey Flowers did not play Saturday night. Flowers led the team with seven sacks last season. It is not believed that he is dealing with an injury, as he is one of the few top players that was not in action.

Quarterback Tom Brady also started Saturday night in Houston, playing for two drives and completing 6 of 9 passes with 67 yards and one touchdown.

In a post-game news conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s ended with a question on if there was a feeling of nostalgia returning to NRG Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LI.

“That’s all in the past,” he responded. “I mean, it was great, but we’re on to 2017. I don’t think last year, two years ago or 12 years ago is that important. Trying to get this team ready to go, and this year’s team is this year’s team. It’s my responsibility to make a strong commitment to this group. I’m not trying to live in the past. I’m not trying to live in the future. I’m just trying to do a good job with the team we have today.”

New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was hard on himself following Saturday night’s 27-23 loss to the, as he lost a fumble on a crunching sack and later threw a sideline interception when he was attempting to throw the ball away.

“I was just trying to throw it away, but didn’t put enough on it,” he explained, as he was on the move to evade an oncoming defensive end. “It was just a bad play.”

The back-up to Tom Brady did look to stand tough in the pocket, taking some huge hits and leading New England on a scoring drive. The miscues, however, gave the Texans two scores and a 27-23 victory.

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Patriots Talk: Odd Brady Video, Gillette Sign Moved

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Patriots Talk: Odd Tom Brady Video, Gillette Stadium Sign Moved

Sunday was an off day for the New England Patriots, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any news.

At Gillette Stadium on Sunday the Patriots had the stadium sign raised in order to create room for the new banner placement.

With the franchise winning its fifth Super Bowl title this past February the location where the banners were kept was simply not big enough.

This is what the current banner location looked like.

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 10: Fireworks go off as the New England Patriots reveal their Super Bowl XLIX championship banner before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Here is what the team did on Sunday. As you can see below they lifted the Gillette Stadium sign up with the banners presumably going right underneath it.

New England will unveil their Super Bowl banner in week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In other Patriots news, QB Tom Brady posted an odd video to Instagram on Sunday afternoon. His words, “No Day’s Off”.

#nodaysoff 😂@tb12sports

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Video looks to be taken in the gym in Brady’s Brookline house. A little odd, but what else is new with the 40-year-old future hall of famer.

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